According to the World Health Organisation ‘headache disorders, including migraine and tension-type headaches are among the most prevalent disorders of mankind…It is estimated that half to three quarters of adults aged 18-65 years in the world have had a headache in the last year’.
Headaches are poorly acknowledged and can impose great pain, personal suffering, impaired quality of life and financial cost to the sufferers.
The most widespread headache disorders are tension-type headaches and migraines.
Types of Headaches
These are the most common headaches worldwide with the World Health Organisation reporting that two-thirds of adult males and over 80% of females in developing countries suffer from these type of headaches.
Tension-type headaches can have the following characteristics:
- Generally moderate to mild, lasting a few hours to days.
- Described as pressure and tightness, band around the head and heaviness on the top of the head
- Sometimes spreading from the neck
- Head and face pain can be located at the base of the skull, top of the head, forehead, behind the eyes or in the temples.
- Some severe cases show symptoms of nausea and dizziness
- Tension-type headaches are associated with dysfunction of the muscular structures around the neck and head. The most common causes of these muscular dysfunctions are stress and poor posture.
Migraines differ from tension-type headaches as they are caused by chemical changes that affect the blood vessels or nerves of the head. They are commonly believed to have a genetic basis and environmental factors are usually believed to play a large role in triggering Migraines.
Migraines can have the following characteristics:
- Usually starting at puberty
- Head pain
- Aura (in 20% of cases)
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- One sided
- Lasts for hours to days
- Stiffness in the neck and shoulders
Environmental factors that can trigger migraines:
- Infrequent meals
- Strong smells – perfumes
- Weather changes
- Computers (overuse or incorrect use)
- Sudden vigorous physical activity
- Stiffness in the neck and back
HOW CAN OPTIMUM MUSCULAR HEALTH MYOTHERAPISTS HELP YOU?
Being located in Melbourne’s CBD we have had seen many people suffering from tension-type headaches that have arisen for a variety of reasons. Through this experience in dealing with patients from different working environments and occupations, we have developed the most effective treatments resulting in a great amount of success in relieving these types of headaches. Unlike tension-type headaches there are a range of different triggers that cause a migraine. Our myotherapists can help to identify and alleviate some of the environmental triggers such as tension through the neck and shoulders and poor posture at work/ computer and help you keep a diary to identify other triggers ie dietary.
For both of these types of headaches our Myotherapists will go through a history of the behaviour of your headaches, for migraines we will endevour to identity possible triggers that cause a migraine, we will conducting a postural analysis both seated and standing, and identify possible stresses being placed on the muscle structures of your neck and shoulder region. Treatment will help decrease the muscle tension in the neck, shoulders an other related areas. From all the information gathered we will endeavour to find the underlying cause of your headaches, and working together try to eliminate or manage the perpetuating factors to alleviate or reduce the occurrence of your headaches. This may include an exercise program, changes in work posture or workplace set up and stretches.
In previous cases of severe migraines we have worked together with other health professionals for the patient to get the best result possible.