Headaches: what are they and how we can help

Having recurring headaches or migraines is not normal; they should be investigated in order to gain long term relief through effective management. Each year, a large portion of the Australian population experience headaches and migraines. According to an Australian 2018 study an estimated 7.6% of Australians suffering chronic migraines (≥15 migraine days per month). A study from the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience  states that 87% of their subjects had experienced a headache in the last year and Chiropractors were one of the top healthcare practitioners sought out for effective management.


What are they?

There are 100+ types of headaches so it can be confusing trying to understand what help to seek out based on your symptoms. We also recognise that not every headache fits the stereotype and you may have other associated symptoms which require consideration. Chiropractors seek to help find the cause of headaches, not just the symptoms. They are trained to provide effective neuro-musculoskeletal management or referral to other appropriate investigations or allied health professionals.

Let’s break down a few of the main types of headaches that are seen in chiropractic practice and their potential causes:

  • Cervicogenic: these headaches are caused by an issue in the neck region. They are most often associated with musculoskeletal dysfunction in the neck region resulting in stiffness and soreness. These can be caused by muscle tension, joint dysfunction, strained posture or a combination of these.
  • Tension: these often present as a dull, aching sensation all over the head with some sensitivity around the neck, face, shoulders or scalp. The biggest cause of tension-type headaches can be due to stress.
  • TMJ: these headaches can present as a dull, tight and aching feeling in the jaw and temple region typically are a symptom of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, muscle tension around the jaw, teeth issues and clenching, grinding and stress
  • Migraine: migraines often present as throbbing, pounding and debilitating attacks of pain on one side of the head. They can be accompanied by nausea, dizziness, photophobia or visual disturbances. Stress, certain foods/drinks, hormonal changes and preceding headache can be triggers for some sufferers.

How can we help?

Chiropractic can help release the tension from your joints and muscles utilising joint adjustments and mobilisations, soft tissue techniques. We can also provide advice on stretches, postural adjustments and lifestyle changes to aid in the management and/or prevention of migraines and headaches.

Headaches may be a result of a number of factors. A few tips to prevent headaches include:

  • Exercise regularly and maintain an active lifestyle, eat well, stay hydrated, rest well
  • Choose the right pillow for your size and consider altering your sleeping position to provide more spinal support
  • Adding a high quality magnesium supplement into your night routine
  • Try a massage roller or spikey ball to ease tension in the shoulders and lower neck region
  • Keep your posture in check and audit the ergonomics of your workstation
  • Speak to your allied health practitioner about co-managing your symptoms

If you are struggling with headaches please contact us on (07)38921440 or book through our website. We are here to help.

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