Headache Treatment

click to enlarge images

In these drawings, red signifies the location of the ache. The crosses are the the tense muscle areas (triggerpoints). These are painful at touch. By releasing these tense muscle areas (Triggerpoint Treatment) , the ache stops.

This is only an example of a few muscle . You have many more muscles like that.

Our Headache Treatments Include

  • Releasing the headache muscles.
  • Mobilising the highest three cervical levels
  • Treating both the day and night postures
  • General headache prevention including advice on a ‘food diary’ and hydration
  • If needed also stress-treatment by way of breathing education, relaxation therapy and/ or the treatment of Temporomandibular Dysfunction

Waking up with Headaches

There are a lot of people who wake up with headaches, which lessen as the morning progresses. The most treatable cause would be the sleeping position and pillow. Grinding and clenching of the teeth at night can also be contributing factors. A night splint may be needed to reduce this.

However, headaches can also be due to sleep apnea. In some cases breathing education may help but referral to a doctor may be necessary.

Headaches and Breathing

At Physical Sense we employ physiotherapists who specialise in breathing re-education. Breathing re-education can increase the quality of your life. You will be less tired, less scatter-brained and notice a sharp decrease in the symptoms associated with chest breathing. It will also decrease your headaches.

Women get headaches more easily when they are low on oestrogen. So it is especially important to take extra care and have early nights, drink extra water, eat healthy meals and do aerobic exercises before and just after your period.

We are confident that this information together with our treatment will enable you to reduce the frequency and the severity of your headaches.

Did you know that 92% of the population will suffer from severe headaches at some time  in their life? If you suffer from headaches we can help, but you can also do a lot to help yourself.

How to avoid headaches:

It is important that you realise that most headaches occur due to an accumulation of factors. We have an area in and just below our brain, called the “trigeminal nucleus”.

This area can be irritated without giving you a headache. However, once you irritate your trigeminal nucleus over a certain threshold you will get a headache.

If you could avoid irritating the trigeminal nucleus you could avoid headaches.

What irritates the trigeminal nucleus?

  • Dehydration. This is often caused by too much alcohol, coffee or energy drinks, or the nor’west winds.
  • Stress. Stress can result in muscle tension around the neck and jaw.
  • Jaw clenching and tooth grinding.
  • Heavy meals-\-hypersensitivity to certain foods/ dysfunction of the liver.
  • Injury or irritation of the cervical spine.
  • Hyperventilation\-stress.
  • Hormones (when you are low on oestrogen, as you are just before and after your period, your trigeminal nucleus is more irritable as oestrogen protects your trigeminal nucleus from irritation)

Did you know that 92% of the population will suffer from severe headaches at some time in their life? If you suffer from headaches we can help, but you can also do a lot to help yourself.

What can you do to stop irritating the trigeminal nucleus:

Address the dehydration. You will be astonished what a difference it makes. If you know that nor’west winds can easily give you a headache, drink heaps of water (8 glasses a day). Also drink extra water when you have been consuming alcohol, coffee, tea, or energy drinks. If you know that your life will be extra stressful for a while, take extra care of yourself. Sleep more, do some extra aerobic exercise like running, cycling, swimming or fast walking. Exercise is the best possible stress reliever. It relaxes your muscles so you do not end up with too much muscle tension in your neck and jaw muscles.

If you know that you tend to clench or grind your teeth, tell yourself several times a day to relax your face. Do this especially before you fall a-sleep. If this doesn’t help enough, a physiotherapist with knowledge of stress management can help you.You may have noticed that you develop a headache after a heavy meal, or after eating certain foods. Keeping a food/-headache diary can often help you find which foods irritate your system.

If your neck is often painful and stiff, or you have had a neck injury, do aerobic exercise (relaxes your muscles) and some gentle stretching after warming your muscles (hot bath, shower, or a hottie or a wheatpack).

Stress can lead to chest breathing (as opposed to tummy breathing). This results in an imbalance between oxygen and carbon dioxide that can lead to headaches. If you recognise some or all of the following symptoms then you may need some help with retraining your breathing habits:

  • frequent sighing or yawning
  • breathlessness without reason
  • tightness or pain in the chest
  • heart palpitations/ dizyness
  • tingling feelings/anxiety
  • headaches