Headaches are pain experienced in any part of the head, on both sides of the head, or in just one location. Half of all adults will experience a Headache in any given year, and the severity of this headache can vary. Headaches are the result of a complex collection of factors that all combine together to produce pain. Because of this, headaches are classified by their causative factors.
Primary Headaches refer to Migraines, Tension Headaches, Cluster Headaches, and Other Kinds of Primary Headache. Primary Headaches tend to be longstanding, episodic, and are believed to be due to factors related to the blood vessels and nerves within the brain and spinal cord. For this reason, assessment of Headache Pain believed to be due to a Primary Headache will involve an assessment of the neck.
Secondary Headaches are Headaches that arise from a separate injury or incident. Trauma from a whiplash injury, blunt-force to the head, or trauma to the neck can cause Headache Pain. Disruption of cervical spine and cranial bloodflow due to a stroke, artery pain or vascular disorder can also cause Headache Pain. Headaches can also be caused by infection, damage to or irritation of the facial nerves, or by blood pressure changes.
Headache assessment and treatment is complex because of the number of anatomical, neurological and personal factors that contribute to Headache Pain. Headaches are the result of lifespan, lifestyle, occupational and physical characteristics combining to produce discomfort. Additionally, stress has been proven to be a major contributing factor in Headache Pain. With this in mind, your treating Physio may discuss psychologist referral if appropriate.
Management and assessment of Headache Pain depends on the cause of the pain, how it feels and changes over the day, what makes it better or worse, and the length of time you have been experiencing the pain. All of these factors will be addressed in your initial assessment, which is the first step towards minimising and managing any pain or discomfort. The treatment you receive will be tailored to address the specific cause of your Headache Pain, and will focus on minimising pain, maximising your ability to move pain free, and developing a plan to minimise the risk of a flare-up in the future.
At Atlas Physio, we will provide you with education, structured management, and ongoing monitoring of your pain both in and out of the clinic. Contact us to arrange an assessment, and to take the first step on a course of corrective care today.