The misery of recurrent headaches can be caused by stiff neck joints and tight neck muscles which refer pain into the back of the head and even to the forehead and eyes. Fortunately, simple treatment can help resolve headaches for good.
The key to beating headaches is to understand the cause and then to get effective treatment. Our award-winning team works hard to understand your problem and deliver effective treatment to solve your headaches.
We treat headaches with an effective step-by-step programme to relieve neck stiffness and muscle tension so you can lead an active and fulfilling life free from pain.
Solve your headaches with three simple steps…
Which type of headache is it?
If you are suffering from regular headaches the chances are that you regularly use painkillers to help alleviate the pain. You may also be taking anti-inflammatory medication or if you’re getting migraine headaches other exotic combinations of drugs. This headache treatment may help with the symptoms but does not address the underlying cause of the headaches. Fortunately, there is another approach that research has shown to be effective for certain types of headache relief. Chiropractic can offer significant help to certain types of headache.
The key to getting the right treatment is understanding which type of headache you have. It is not always that easy to know as you may have more than one type of headache going on at different times. There are 3 main types of headaches that may respond to gentle conservative care. They are:-
- Cervicogenic or spinal headache caused by neck problems
- Tension headache caused by tight muscles and/or stress
The other serious types of headache are caused by things like internal bleeds, infections and space-occupying lesions which need urgent medical care.
The first step in successful treatment for headaches is to identify which sort you have then a programme of treatment can be suggested which may help.
Tension headaches are the most commonly diagnosed type of headache with four out of five people being told that this is the cause of their pain. Tension-type headaches are characterised by a frequent, steady, dull ache on both sides of the head which can last for a long time. People are able to get on with normal life in spite of mild light and sound sensitivity.
Most doctors think that tension headaches are due to tight muscles in the shoulder, neck or scalp. This has not been shown in the research however. It has been tricky to identify tightness in these muscles in spite of looking quite hard. It is more likely that stress plays a bigger role than first thought. Stress, from work, daily-life and relationships has been found to be the most common headache trigger.
When we get stressed our adrenal glands release adrenalin which sensitises the pain receptor nerve endings in the body. In addition, our central nervous system can become sensitised to on-going pain messages so that the pain persists even after the injury has gone. This is a plausible potential cause of tension headaches. It may also explain why manual therapy has been less successful at treating it. Traditionally tension headaches have been treated with massage, exercises and manipulation but results have been mixed. It might be that a simple switch to de-stressing type exercises and desensitising manipulation and mobilisation might be more effective.
Often called cervicogenic headache, in this type the pain is associated with neck pain and pain at the back of the head. Sometimes the muscles in the neck are tender to press. It may cause pain to the forehead, over the eyes or temples too. People often describe a vice-like feeling around their head. The pain is often aggravated by a certain posture or neck movements. Interestingly it often eases when lying down as the weight of the head does not have to be supported. People with this type of headache often have a history of many years of suffering with it.
People often mistake a tension headache for a migraine and there are a lot of similarities in including the mechanisms that are thought to cause them. A good way to determine which type you have is to compare the symptoms.
Migraines are characterised by severe, one-sided, throbbing pain, often around one eye. They are often preceded by visual disturbances. They are relatively short-lived but disabling often with extreme light and sound sensitivity as well as nausea. Exercise tends to make them worse and lying down doesn’t help much.
Chiropractic care has been shown to help migraines. Massage and acupuncture have also been shown to help.
What makes Sundial special?
We understand how frustrating shoulder pain can be and the anxiety it can cause when you’re inactive. Nobody should have to put up with ineffective treatment or put their life on hold because of shoulder pain. We have treated nearly 30,000 patients over 30 years. When asked, 94% say they are satisfied or very satisfied.
Our excellent results are due to the fact that we are the only clinics in Sussex to have chiropractors, physiotherapists and massage therapists working together to deliver the best care. This team approach is more effective at finding the cause of your shoulder pain and treating it effectively.
If you are fed up with shoulder pain and finding working, daily chores, recreational activity or sleeping difficult then book a free consultation.
Recent Posts on Headaches…
- Headaches – the hidden cause 19th July 2018 Anyone who has suffered from regular headaches knows how unpleasant and disrupting they can be. Many headache sufferers find it difficult to concentrate, to work or even carry out simple activities without feeling grumpy. Jamie’s story Jamie came to me here at Sundial because of six years of headaches that were affecting his work and his life with ...
- Headaches – a pain in the neck 19th August 2013 Headaches can sometimes be caused by neck problems in disguise. This type of headache is called a cervicogenic headache. Evidence for the best way to treat this type of headache has been lacking – until now. Cervicogenic headaches may respond well to manipulation, mobilisation and specific exercises a new study shows. This is good news because ...
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- Headaches – Which type of headache is it? 22nd May 2012 If you are suffering from regular headaches the chances are that you regularly use painkillers to help alleviate the pain. You may also be taking anti-inflammatory medication or if you’re getting migraine headaches other exotic combinations of drugs. This headache treatment may help with the symptoms but does not address the underlying cause of the ...
- Migraine Awareness Week 9th September 2011 As Migraine Awareness Week comes to an end we look at some of the ways chiropractic can help treat migraines and headaches. Migraines affect about 1 in 6 people in the UK and, as you know if you are one of them, can completely wipe you out. There are two main types of migraine:- Classical migraine These migraines ...