Have you ever wondered why you have lived with a headache for so long? Have you assumed there was nothing else to do apart from take pain medication?
Or lie in a dark room for days?
Well, there’s good news – treatment exists which many people aren’t aware of that can help relieve the pain caused by headaches! There are many causes of headaches that physiotherapists can directly and effectively treat and at PhysiOptima we have helped to improve the lives of many patients by alleviating their headaches for good.
So, what are these causes of headaches that physiotherapists can help alleviate?
After a thorough one hour initial assessment, we will identify the cause of your headache and direct our treatment appropriately. We will assess if you have:
(1) NECK PROBLEMS (cervical spine)-
Often the neck or cervical spine is the cause of headaches or migraines. This is due to mal-alignments in the spine causing muscle spasm in the neck muscles, and resulting in the joints of the cervical spine becoming “stuck” in a certain position or not moving correctly. Your physiotherapist can help to restore the necessary movement in these joints thereby reducing muscle spasm with very specific manual therapy, hands-on techniques.
(2) BREATHING PATTERN ISSUES (undetected hyperventilation syndrome)-
Abnormal breathing patterns can be a cause of your headaches, and you may not even realise that you are breathing too shallow or too fast. With many of us leading busy lives, it’s no wonder that our breathing can adopt a bad pattern of hyperventilation. And often, people don’t even realise they are doing it. At PhysiOptima, we have special tests to identify if this is the cause of your headache. Once we understand this then treatment can follow with instruction in how to improve and control your breathing.
Long hours of sitting at a desk peering into a computer screen can lead to neck issues or stiffness in the spine which can cause headaches- sleeping posture or a particular hobby can also be a factor. A thorough ergonomic assessment and posture evaluation by your physiotherapist will be undertaken, and you will be given postural exercises in addition to any manual therapy which will help restore normal joint movement.
Sustaining a whiplash injury doesn’t always happen in a vehicle! We regularly see such symptoms, with resulting headaches, from trampoline injuries, horse-riding accidents and falls. Your physiotherapist will be able to identify if structures in the upper neck have been injured or compromised and are causing your headache.
(5) STRESS & ANXIETY-
We all experience this in our lives, but when it gets out of control it can contribute to a headache. One of the mechanisms when we’re stressed is that we have a tendency to breath faster and in a more shallow way which creates a hyperventilatory pattern (see above). Again, not only can we address your breathing pattern, but we have Pilates classes and one-to-one sessions which help to promote relaxation. On-site massage therapy services are also available to help reduce your stress and release tension.
There are many causes of headaches and migraines that a physiotherapist can treat. You shouldn’t have to live with a headache and we believe that getting to the root of what’s causing your headache is crucial as only then can true recovery begin.
For more information, feel free to contact one of the PhysiOptima team!