Back and Neck Pain

How to Keep the Lid on a Headache

Fact: 47% of the global population experience regular headaches.

For some, headaches are just a minor inconvenience but for others they can be utterly debilitating, condemning you to a dark, quiet room for hours, and sometimes even days. Successfully diagnosing a headache gets very complicated, because more than 130 distinct disorders have been identified along with over 300 triggers.

The most commonly diagnosed headaches are:

  • Migraines (12%)
  • Tension headache (75%)
  • Cervicogenic headache (originating from the neck) (18%)
  • Sinus headaches


If you only suffer from the occasional headache, this is often caused by lifestyle factors such as:

  • Dehydration
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Some foods
  • Skipped meals
  • Lack of sleep
  • Posture
  • Muscular tension
  • Medications
  • High blood pressure
  • Infection
  • Hormonal influences


However, if you suffer from headaches more regularly there is good news, because two of the most common headaches, tension-type headaches and cervicogenic headaches (which originate from musculoskeletal issues in and around the neck) can be significantly improved and even cured by Physiotherapy, both in the short term as well as the long term. There is a robust body of research, as well as clinical evidence, showing that Physiotherapy is an extremely effective treatment for certain types of headache.

Manual therapy (hands-on therapy) of your neck can be hugely beneficial in eliminating your headache; or at least reducing the intensity and duration of the headache. This can include mobilisation of the joints in your neck and soft tissue work into the muscles around the neck.

In addition, poor posture and repetitive movements in your daily life have also been shown to increase the risk of experiencing headaches as they can cause muscle imbalances, muscle weakness and lead to strain within your neck. In these cases, exercises to strengthen weak muscles and stretch tight muscles can be extremely effective.

We have some more downloadable resources and advice sheets on each specific headache type at the following link []. If you would like to understand more about how we can help in the treatment and prevention of headaches, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

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