Want More Information About Headaches?
Headaches are one of the most common problems to affect us, and date back as far as 1500BC! According to the Australian Bureau Of Statistics in 1995 approximately 15% of the population were taking medication for headaches (2)
Types of Headaches:
Classic Migraine with an Aura:
This is generally quite a severe pain that is associated with or without an aura. An Aura is a common precursor to a migraine whereby the individual is pre-warned about the onset of a migraine. This aura can take the form of motor or speech problems or as a visual disturbance such as flashing lights, blind spots or a halo around objects. It is thought that these symptoms are caused by the constriction of blood vessels and the resultant reduced blood flow to the brain and surrounding structures. Note- not all migraine will be associated with an aura (classified as Migraine – No Aura). The pain may be described as throbbing or pounding around the forehead, eye’s, back of head or temples. It may remain on one side of the head or swap side’s for each attack and may be associated with nausea, vomiting and the individual experiencing a sensitivity to light and sound. The frequency and severity of these headaches will differ for each individual. We are still unsure as to what causes these attacks- but we are aware of a number of various “triggers.”
These types of headaches are some of the most common. Often described as being a tightness at the back of the head or neck and the feeling of tension around your head as if it is in a “vice ”, or as if you were wearing a headband that was too tight. We further subdivide these types of headaches into Episodic and Chronic. If your symptoms are sporadic and eased with medication, stretching or a quiet dark room – you most likely fall into the episodic category. But if you are taking medication on a daily basis with minimal relief and the pain persistent and frequent – you find yourself falling into the chronic category. These headaches can be associated with an increase in stress levels, anxiety, fatigue or anger. And just like the Migraine, their intensity and severity differ for each individual. It is important to note that the severity of a headache is NOT a good indication of his potential dangers. Low grade persistent headaches can be as dangerous as the sudden and severe type and should be investigated fully.
Generally considered the most painful of any headache. Cluster headaches as their name suggest come in groups of headaches. Each attack can last minutes to hours, with the patient experiencing approximately 1-4 per day, and potnetially lasting for weeks to months. The onset of pain is quick, and provides no warming to the patient. This pain is almost always one sided and often described as a searing stabbing and piercing pain, or like the feeling of a hot poker in the eye or through the head.
Triggers are anything that results in the patient experiencing a headache.The key is learning to identify what triggers your headache, and avoiding where possible. Some of he more common Triggers are:
- Aged cheese
Important aspects to consider:
Water: Are you drinking 2 Litres per day?
Food: Are there any foods that trigger headaches or that you are sensitive to? Keeping a headache diary which documents all the food you have eaten to identify if there is a common link ( Chocolate, cheese, alcohol, salicylates, etc)
Posture: Can lead to stress on muscle, joints ligaments. Areas to consider – Your Workstation, Car, Bed, Home Office, Couch,
Eyes: having regular eye check-ups (yearly) to determine if you require glasses, may be another causative factor in ongoing headaches.
Stress: How do you manage your stress and where is it coming from? Stress causes the release of adrenaline or cortisol and may play a part in your headaches.
Jaw: grinding your teeth, or having mal-alignment issues may be an underlying factor in your headaches.
Muscle Strength and Stability: The strength of your head and neck muscles are vitally important when addressing your headaches. Your head weighs about 4.5-5kg. of head.
Exercise: is the program you are participating in specifically tailored for you? eated – with long term strategies to prevent reoccurrence .
- World Health Organisaton.com.au
- Australian Bureau of Statistics
Let the team at Equilibrium Sports and Spinal Clinic guide you back to doing the things you love!
The Osteopath’s at Equilibrium Sports and Spinal Clinic in Glen Iris are highly trained to identify the main cause of your back pain and implement a specific and effective treatment programme to get you back on your feet quicker. Simply call (03) 9822 1900 or click here to book an appointment.