Headaches are the third most common reason for seeking help from a Chiropractor. They can be debilitating and can often effect our daily activities and lifestyle. There are many causes of headaches and many different types of headaches. Understanding what kind of headache, you may be experiencing is the first step to treatment and management. There are more than 150 headache types. The most common types of headaches are tension-type headache, migraine headache and cervicogenic headache.

Tension-type headache (38% of the population)

  • Usually begin in the shoulders and build into a ‘tight’ feeling of the head. Sometimes described as if the head were ‘in a vice’.
  • The Tension Headache is usually felt on both sides of the head.
  • Often have tight and sensitive muscles (trigger points) in the shoulders, neck and temporal areas that may reproduce the headache.
  • Mild to moderate intensity
  • The difference between a tension-type headache and a migraine is a tension-type headache usually wont induce nausea or affect daily activities to the severity of a migraine which often is debilitating. Tension type headaches and migraines are relatively similar and are considered to be on the same ‘spectrum’ as migraines.

Migraine (10% of the population)

  • Can last up to 72 hours
  • Usually one side of the head, but can present on both sides (40% of migraineurs)
  • Associated with nausea, vomiting and light or sound sensitivity.
  • Migraines are termed ‘common’ or ‘classic 
    • Common- Usually without an aura
    • Classic- usually with an aura that begins within an hour of the migraine headache.
  • Migraines are now classified as a chronic illness not just a headache. They can be associated with depression, IBS, epilepsy, asthma and fibromyalgia (along with other conditions).
  • To best manage these headaches a whole lifestyle approach is needed. This means your muscles and joints, nutrition, sleep, stress and other lifestyle factors need to be considered.

Cervico-genic headache (4% of the population)

  • Headache is on one side of the head
  • Usually in the neck/base of the skull area and can radiate into the arm/shoulder
  • Specific neck positions or sustained postures will bring on these headaches
  • Usually tense neck and shoulder muscles and possible reduced neck range of movement.

At scope chiropractic we understand the importance of a specific diagnosis of your headache. This allows us to make the correct treatment and management option to help you get better quicker. We use a range of techniques including spinal adjustments, Active Release Technique (ART), western acupuncture/dry needle therapy and exercise prescription to give you the best possible outcome. Have a look at some of our recommended links.

  1. Video- Understanding Migraines https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHffEt-MXjI&feature=youtu.be
  2. App- Migraine Budyy- Headache diary https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/migraine-buddy/id975074413?mt=8
  3. http://www.healthdirect.gov.au/headaches 
Avatar for Daniel Rothenberg

Daniel Rothenberg

Daniel Rothenberg is a Sports Chiropractor with a Masters of Chiropractic and Masters of Exercise Science majoring in Strength & Conditioning. He works closely with a range of athletes in Brisbane and Ipswich.