Headaches are a common condition that we deal with at myPhysioSA.
There are many different causes of headaches which can broadly be broken up into 2 types, “musculo-skeletal” and “medical”.
The ‘musculo-skeletal’ type, we regularly see patients with and the more ‘medical’ type usually require an assessment and intervention from your doctor.
Physiotherapists are skilled at identifying when a visit to the doctor is required and will facilitate this where necessary.
Musculo-skeletal type headaches can result from several different issues within the neck and upper back, including some of the following:
- Tension within the neck and upper back muscles;
- Trigger points (overactive/tight) regions within the muscles;
- Irritated joints and ligaments (i.e. ‘facet’ joints);
- Irritated TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint – where the jaw joins onto the skull)
Some common causes of musculo-skeletal type headaches include:
- Grinding your teeth;
- Stress / tension;
- Postural issues;
- Trauma i.e. whiplash;
- Secondary to other physical issues such as shoulder/upper limb problems.
Given that the exact cause of headaches can be quite complicated, it is important that they are fully assessed by your Physiotherapist to ensure that the underlying problem is addressed to avoid recurrence / exacerbation.
At MyphysioSA, we have a variety of ways to manage headaches (which vary of course, depending on the underlying cause) including some of the following:
- Massage therapy;
- Spinal mobilisation/manipulation;
- Relaxation techniques;
- Exercise therapy / MyCore;
- Dry needling.
In our experience, the majority of headaches that we see as Physiotherapists are musculo-skeletal in origin and can be very effectively managed with the right assessment and treatment.
If you are unfortunately experiencing headaches (which as most of us know can interfere heavily with out day to day function and enjoyment) a comprehensive myPhysioSA assessment can certainly help get you back on track and headache free!
Written by David Wilson, Partner Physiotherapist at myPhysioSA