A headache is one of the most common symptoms experienced by humans. In fact, it is very rare to come across a person who has never had a headache. For most headache and migraine sufferers, however, headaches can be a daily occurrence and are quite often just accepted as a normal part of their lives. In our clinic on Mount Tamborine, we have seen time and time again that this doesn’t have to be the common reality.
At Physique, we believe that there is no such thing as a normal headache. If you suffer from frequent headaches or migraines, you may quite understandably normalise the condition because you experience it so frequently, but it is not “normal” for your head to ache! Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong, and headaches are no exception.
If you have been told that only medication is all you can do for your headaches or migraines, then it’s time for a second opinion!
What Causes Headaches?
Headaches are often a result of poor movement patterns or incorrect alignment of a person’s upper neck and may be brought on by things that stress that area, such as holding certain postures for too long, common stress, fatigue, poor sleeping and/or pillow positions and also certain repetitive movements. It has been a long accepted clinical view that irritation of the upper 3 vertebral segments of the neck can result in Cervicogenic and Tension Type Headaches. However, recent research is highlighting the fact that the neck could well be a major cause of many other types of headaches and migraines including monthly menstrual headaches and severe migraine.
If you have an ongoing or constant pain signal coming from your neck, the nerve centres at the base of your brain, called the brain stem, can become sensitised. This means that while the frequency and intensity of incoming nerve signals passing through this region remain exactly the same, the threshold of what is perceived as harmful is much less, so pain is triggered from a smaller stimulus. This results in certain people getting certain triggers for a migraine. It also explains why some people can drink a bottle of red wine and not get a headache, and others of us simply need to smell it and a headache or migraine will start!
The nerves of the upper three segments of the neck are related very closely, through the brain stem, to the nerves that serve the face and head. When there are problems with how these three segments of the neck are moving or sitting, sensitization of the nerves that serve the head and face can occur, leading to headache and migraine. It follows that treatment of problems in the upper three segments of the neck can reduce and eliminate headache.
At Physique Physiotherapy, Mount Tamborine, we strongly believe that HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES DO NOT HAVE TO BE FOR LIFE. We are passionate about caring for headache and migraine sufferers and we know that in the vast majority of cases physiotherapy treatment to the neck can make a huge difference. We hate it when people tell us they have been suffering headaches or migraines for months and often for many years because we know that specially trained physiotherapists, such as the ones that we have at Physique Physiotherapy, have the ability to make a dramatic difference to the lives of those who have been suffering them.