man with headache from using the computerHeadaches are very prevalent worldwide and often come at a high cost personally, financially and socially, having a significant impact on quality of life for many people. At Physiologix, we have a Musculoskeletal Physio (with a special interest in treating spinal issues, including neck pain, headaches and dizziness) tells us a bit more about that thing that plagues so many of us, HEADACHES.

Treating headaches is complex. There a many different types of headaches which can be categorised into three main groups. Primary headaches are caused by what is know as 'independent pathology'. This includes migraines, tension type headaches and cluster headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by another disorder known to cause headaches. This includes trauma, meningitis, medication overuse and musculoskeletal disorders of the neck. Lastly there are cranial neuropathies/other types of headaches that do not fit into the previous two classifications.

Physiotherapy is known to be effective in managing headaches caused, or contributed to, by musculoskeletal disorders of the neck: these are known as "cervicogenic headaches".

However all the different types of headaches (primary, secondary and neuropathy/other) can cause neck pain. Although you may suffer from, for example, primary headaches such as migrane or tension type headache, these can result in a dysfunction in the neck, which in turn may contribute to your headache. Treating this dysfunction can help to reduce your headaches. Current research suggests that this neck dysfunction can even be a trigger for the onset of migranes, an added reason why it is so important to have the neck checked no matter what type of headache you suffer from.

Physiotherapists are experts in identifying and managing musculoskeletal dysfunction. Here at Physiologix, our physios performs a thorough assessment to enable them to determine the origin of your headache/neck pain, and to identify if a neck musculoskeletal dysfunction is contributing to your symptoms. This assessment is essential in determining the optimal treatment pathway for you.