Migraines & Headaches
There are several types of headaches and migraines. Some of them are caused by incorrect posture and spinal alignment. Other types are caused by lifestyle factors such as your diet, stress levels, and day to day activities.
Types of Headaches
Tension headaches are the most common. They usually cause a dull ache sensation or tightness in the muscles around the the head and neck. They can be caused by a number of factors but are often the result of stress, dehydration, hunger, poor posture or eyesight.
If the headache is being caused by poor posture, a full examination and possibly x-rays can help find the root cause of the problem.
This type of headache is usually associated with pain behind one eye. Most people experience them first thing in the morning but they can also come on suddenly throughout the day. And you may notice certain activities trigger them, like drinking alcohol or eating certain foods.
Cervicogenic headaches happen when pain is referred from dysfunction in the neck (cervical spine region). Poor posture when sitting for a long time is a common cause of this type of headache. Pain is typically felt in the top and back of the head. Investigating the alignment in the cervical spine can help find the underlying problem. Depending on what the cause is, it can be treatable using one of our therapies such as shockwave or spinal decompression. In the long term, our spinal remodelling orthotics can also be beneficial.
- TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint)
The temporomadibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw to the skull. The TMJ can be a cause of headaches as the result of a dental problem or tensing of the jaw, a common side effect of stress. TMJ headaches are often mistaken for tension headaches as they can cause pain around the face and ear. If you think you might be having TMJ headaches, a visit to your dentist can help find the root cause.
Headaches may also be caused by sinusitis (inflamed sinuses). You may feel a throbbing pain between your forehead and nose. This is caused by a build up of pressure inside the sinuses when the passage to your nose becomes blocked. You are also likely to notice congestion similar to cold or flu symptoms.
A migraine can be defined as a headache or series of recurring headaches that usually affect one side of the head. In some cases, they may affect both sides of the head. If you’re having a migraine, you’ll feel pain as a pulsating sensation in the head or face.
There are many causes of migraines, but most commonly, they happen as the result of:
o Hormones: typically the headaches will begin around puberty during teenage years; they can be different during pregnancy and will end during the menopause. This is usually linked to the overproduction of oestrogen.
o Vascular: as a result of fluctuating blood vessels in the brain
o Neurological: neuronal under or over-excitability of the central nervous system.
Symptoms of a Migraine
There are usually three stages of a migraine, and symptoms depend of what stage:
- Pre-drome: Excessive yawning, neck stiffness, sudden thirst or hunger or mood changes
- During: Pain in either or both sides of the head, pins and needles sensation in the arms, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in dealing with bright lights or loud noises.
- Post-drome: Confusion, dizziness, fatigue, brain fog, mood swings, irritability and difficulty in dealing with bright lights can continue.
Treatment of Migraines & Headaches
We begin by carrying out an examination which will help us work out what the root cause of your headaches or migraines is. We have a range of protocols to assess and examine you and this may include x-rays. Altered curves in the spine can affect biomechanics of the neck and skull, which has the capability to cause headache. These can be treated using the various therapies we offer at ProBack Clinics.
- Headaches or migraines can be treated using our shockwave therapy, as this helps to rehabilitate spinal mobility and introduce alterations in curvature. The light tapping of the shockwave therapy helps to break down scar tissue, relieve muscular and joint tension linked to tension headaches.
- Spinal Decompression can be used on the neck to help reduce compression and improve local disc function. Facilitating recovery in the discs in this way can lead towards a healthier neck, which is often associated with headache type symptoms.
- Laser therapy can also help to a certain extent with headaches. Our K Laser can stimulate all types of cells to improve symptomatic recovery times in headaches, particularly from sinus or TMD types.
- These therapies also work hand-in-hand with our spinal remodelling phase of care. To avoid relapse in the future, correcting the misalignment as much as possible is an effective long term form of pain management. By following tailored exercises and stretches, using specific adjustment techniques during treatments, and using spinal orthotics, you can introduce positive changes and work towards a healthier spine.
What causes a headache?
Depending on the type of headache you have, triggers can be completely independent to your body. The most common type of headache is a tension headache, which can be caused by daily activities and stresses on the body. For example these can include: stress at work or home, lack of exercise, dehydration or skipping a meal.
What causes a migraine?
Just like headaches, migraines can have triggers that are independent to you. Certain processes within your body can also contribute towards migraines. Three out of four people who experience migraines are women; this can be due to overproduction of oestrogen in the body and susceptibility to stress.
What is spinal remodelling?
At ProBack we use spinal remodelling to correct misalignments in the spine. A misaligned spine has the potential to increase degeneration in the spine, through increased pressure on certain areas. By introducing positive changes to the spine, it’s possible to slow down degeneration and improve the function of your body. Spinal remodelling often consists of three parts: using corrective adjustment techniques through shockwave therapy, introducing a spinal orthotic, and following tailored exercises or stretches.
How will spinal remodelling help with my headaches?
If misalignment in the neck is found to be the root cause of headaches, spinal remodelling can help in the long term by reducing the likelihood of their reoccurrence. During your rehabilitative phases of treatment we will start off by recommending a series of exercises and stretches you can do at home. Performed a few times per day these are tailored to strengthen weaker muscles that can support the spine and other areas of the body. We also utilize specific spinal adjustment techniques during your treatments that will allow for improved mobility and contribute towards improving alterations in spinal curvature. We may also recommend a specific spinal orthotic for your condition, to be used daily to encourage changes in the spinal curve.
How will shockwave therapy help with my headaches?
During your treatments, we may utilize spinal adjustment techniques with shockwave therapy to introduce changes into the spine. Altering the curvature in a misaligned spine is an important step in helping reduce headaches as much as possible in the long term. Shockwave therapy can also relieve stiffness, aid spinal mobility, and ease muscle tension associated with headaches.
“I have more confidence in my overall movement”
“My pain levels have reduced and I’m more flexible.”