Migraine and Other Headaches
If you are looking at this page, you are no doubt aware that headaches can be debilitating. Migraine can also seriously affect your quality of life. While some headaches are just annoying, others are so severe that they require bed rest. You are not alone in suffering headaches. More than three million Australians suffer from migraines or headaches, with about fifteen percent taking painkillers at some stage.
What is a headache?
The term “headache” refers to pain felt in the head, brain, neck, jaw, eyes, ears or sinuses. Our brains register and interpret the pain impulses that reach it. But, because the brain cannot always identify the exact origin of the pain message you may feel pain in your upper neck or as a headache behind your eye. This is known as referred pain.
Headaches may be caused by mechanical, inflammatory or physiological (chemical) factors. They are also influenced by your fears, thoughts and beliefs. Some headache types, like Migraine, are more common in some families.
Physiotherapy for migraines and headaches
At In Touch Physiotherapy –
My aims are:
- To use my specialist physiotherapy skills and experience to work with you whatever your headache type or age.
My Mission is to:
- Ease your headache
- Empower you with accurate information on diagnosis
- Teach you more effective pain management techniques
- Recommend what to ask your doctor
- Advise on self-care
My vision is to:
- Eliminate, or lessen, the severity and frequency of your headaches
- Help you feel more in control.
"I look forward to relieving your pain, whatever your age,
fitness level or type of problem."
NEED AN APPOINTMENT?
* Street Parking outside clinic, plus Bus/Train, Cat Bus are within 10 minutes walk.
*Same day appointments / urgent home visits are available if required. 041996945
Take the first step to restoring your optimal health.
Contact Helen at In Touch Physiotherapy.
How can I help to relieve your headache?
As a highly skilled Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist I perform a comprehensive examination to clarify the source of your headaches. A diagnosis will assist both of us to understand what we can do together to get you well. Knowing what headache type you have, also simplifies the selection of the best treatment.
Several types of headache may occur at the one time. Only a methodical assessment can verify each component of your headache.
Mechanical or postural headaches are the most responsive to physiotherapy as bio-mechanical forces combine with physiological and neural factors.
By asking you a series of questions I can help you identify factors that may be contributing to your headaches. Common factors are sitting too long, physical and emotional stress, poor sleep, grinding your teeth at night or simply dehydrating. Each headache sufferer is a unique individual with different contributing factors.
I will often suggest you speak to your doctor as Migraine requires specific acute medication, while cluster headaches or neck related headaches respond to other medication types.
Headache relief from physiotherapy
Physiotherapy is a science-based approach to movement and health. Quality research evidence supports this. Physiotherapy is most effective for cervico-genic (neck-related) headaches, but can also assist with a migraine, tension-type and jaw-related headache. A national study I was part of in 2007, found that over 70 percent of those with neck headaches were more than 70 percent better after a six week physiotherapy program. Most importantly the improvement lasted at 12 months. Ref:
Reference: G Jull, PT, PhD,* P Trott, PT, MSc,† Helen Potter, PT, MSc,‡G Zito, PT, Grad Dip Manip Ther, K Niere, PT, Mph, D Shirley, PT, BSc, J Emberson, MSc,# I Marschner, PhD,# and CRichardson, PT, PhD “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Exercise and Manipulative Therapy for Cervicogenic Headache”
SPINE Volume 27, Number 17, pp 1835–1843 ©2002, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
As a posture and movement expert, I analyse the way you sit, stand and move. Then I can see how your sensitised neck muscles, joints and nerve tissues may be affecting your headache. A forward head position or a forward flexed neck may place excess strain or compression on some tissues. If you allow your back to slump, your shoulders and neck muscles to tense it means the upper cervical joints are under compression. This may irritate the tissues and result in a cervico-genic headache.
Sensitisation of the nervous system and chronic movement restriction is then more easily provoked with the same factors. Even if you have migraine headaches your neck may be influencing their frequency or severity.
Your Initial Consultation
During your first consultation, my aim is to clarify the aspects of your headaches that I can change or help you to modify. I look at the background of your headache problem and your medical history. By identifying what you want to achieve from your sessions we can focus on the most appropriate factors first. We can then discuss a plan for the most effective treatment available.
Pain has a bio-psychosocial connection so I will explain how pain arises and how your brain interacts with your beliefs and history to create the feeling of pain. My intervention includes gentle passive techniques and specific dynamic exercises aimed at improving your posture and motor control. My intervention is gentle in response to what I feel in your tissues.
Self-treatment exercises are useful to help resolve persistent changes. I try to make them simple and applicable to your life style. By enhancing the mechanical, physiological and psycho-social aspects of your body and mind, the impact of headaches on your life should reduce.
Benefits of the headache clinic
The clinic ensures you know that I will use my Specialist skills to focus on your headache. Most importantly, I will explain what I am doing and provide you with reliable information. Accurate advice on practical methods is essential to help you manage your headaches in a more effective manner in the longer-term. Identifying what you want to achieve from your sessions with me is important. Setting goals enables me to assess progress.
Latest treatmentsAs a Specialist Musculoskeletal
Physiotherapist, I am always up to date with the latest headache treatments. I am continuously adding to my extensive knowledge base and skill set to ensure you receive optimal treatment. Part of my role is to collaborate with your specialist, general practitioner and/or other health professionals for medical aspects of your headache.
PhysiotherapistsWe are internationally renowned for our accurate diagnosis and effective treatments. I pride myself on being part of this collective pool of respected healers.
Reach your goals sooner with my specialist expertise and personalised care
Don’t suffer in silence, get in touch with Helen today.