According to the World Health Organisation, a headache is a symptom of a range of neurobiological disorders, including some of the most common and ubiquitous. Adults aged 20 – 50 years are the most likely sufferers but children and adolescents are affected too. The term ‘headache disorder’ encompasses a number of conditions that vary in severity, incidence and duration. Tension-type headaches and migraines are the most prevalent headache disorders and, both with disabling potential, they have the greatest impact on public health.
There are many different causes of headaches and the most common type is a tension headache. About 7 million Australians, 36% of men and 42% of women suffer from them. They are caused by muscular tension in the neck and upper back which refers pain up to the head. People commonly experience pain at the base of the skull or forehead. Some causes of tension headaches are: poor posture, whiplash injuries and lack of sleep.
Signs and symptoms of a tension headache include:
- Dull, aching head pain
- Sensation of tightness or pressure across your forehead or on the sides and back of your head
- Tenderness on your scalp, neck and shoulder muscles
Approximately 2 million Australians suffer from migraines, that is close to 10% of the population. They affect women more than men, close to 1.5 million women compared to 500 000 men.
Warning symptoms known as aura may occur before or with the headache. These can include flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling on one side of the face or in your arm or leg. This is followed by an intense, often throbbing headache which can last 4-72 hours. It can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, where the person just needs to lie down in a dark and quiet room. Once the attack has finished many people feel washed out or confused, however, some people feel elated.
It is very common for people to reach for pain killers as a quick fix, however, this only addresses the symptoms, not the underlying cause of headaches. Taking pain killers twice per week for more than 3 months may actually cause headaches due to the rebound effect i.e. once the pain killer wears off a headache develops, causing the person to take another tablet and before long they’re taking them daily. (1)
Why Choose Chiropractic for Headache Relief?
Riverside Chiropractic’s chiropractors will use a range of methods to determine the exact cause of your problems and then tailor a chiropractic care programme specifically for you. In addition to gentle chiropractic treatment and soft tissue work, you will be given advice on how to minimise the return of your headache through stretches, exercises and posture and nutrition advice. Research has shown chiropractic to be beneficial for headache (2) and migraine (3) relief.
Many people have found headache relief through our services. To see for yourself call 8096 6781 or contact us to arrange an appointment.
2. Frontiers of Neurology, ‘Mobilization and Manipulation of the Cervical Spine in Patients with Cervicogenic Headache: Any Scientific Evidence?’, Garcia et al, 2016; 7: 40.
3. JMPT, 'A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine' Tuchin et al, Feb 2000, Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 91–95