HEADACHES & MIGRAINES

Dr Jessica Sammut

Approximately 90% of woman and 70% of men will experience tension headaches in their lifetime. Cervicogenic headaches are common, painful, and also commonly misdiagnosed as migraines, as they can present with dizziness, nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and sound, and increased neck stiffness. You may also find that cervicogenic and tension headaches will present together.

 

Headaches can wreak havoc on your personal life, professional life and affect your overall well-being. Headaches are also often ignored, and people can feel as though it is just a part of their life, and that there is nothing they can do about it.‚Äč

 

Osteopathy can be beneficial in the treatment and management of your headaches. Below is a list of the types of headaches, and some symptoms you may be experiencing. If this sounds like you, talk to your osteopath about how treatment may help. 

CERVICOGENIC HEADACHES
  • Upper neck tightness

  • Worse when slouching or at a desk

  • History of whiplash

  • Felt on top of the head, back of the skull and/or behind the eye

  • Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision

  • Can wake up with this headache, or worsened through the day

TENSION HEADACHES
  • Dull, aching head pain

  • Teeth clenching

  • Band of tightness across forehead, sides and back of the head.

  • Active myofascial trigger points (painful spots) in the neck and shoulders

  • Aggravated by emotional stress

CLUSTER HEADACHES
  • Severe pain – burning, stabbing, constant

  • Felt behind and around the eye – usually one-sided

  • Tearing up, reddening of the eye, runny nose

  • Can be brought on suddenly by bright lights, exertion, heat, changes in altitude. Can strike during sleep.

  • Can be aggravated by hay fever or food allergies

  • Regular occurrence but long, pain-free periods

ABSTINENCE HEADACHES
  • Toxic, vascular headaches – due to fever, food or drug withdrawal

  • Throbbing, pulsating headache, both sides of the head

  • Difficulty concentrating, depressed mood

  • Fatigue or drowsiness

  • Occurs when withdrawing from substances such as caffeine, opioids, oestrogen, nicotine or alcohol

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