Headaches

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INJURY TITLE

Headaches

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

Probably the most common complaint among all aches and pains.

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

The main types of headache (although there are many) are vascular, exercise related and cervical (related to the neck).

 

Vascular headaches

Migraines are not to be considered as headaches alone.  They can have accompanying symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea to name a few.  If they have neurological symptoms then the management is quite different than in they don’t.  Neurological symptoms can include flashing lights depending on where in the brain is affected.

 

Cluster headaches or ‘Hortons Headaches’ tend to happen later in life and are more pronounced in men as opposed to women.  Consumption of alcohol has been linked with their onset.  It is usually described as a deep burning sensation.

 

Cervical Headaches

Are headaches caused by dysfunction of the muscles, joint and soft tissues around the nerves the upper regions of the neck.

 

Exercise Related Headaches

Typically linked with exertion, the benign type of headache may only last for a short period of time.  The presence of a ‘footballers migraine’ is usually due to repeated blows to the head and will lead to typical migraine symptoms.

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

Migraine

  • Throbbing or pulsing pain.
  • Usually at one side of the head but can spread
  • Can start at the back of the head and move forwards
  • Sometimes has visual symptoms also

 

Cervical Headaches

  • Steady, dull ache
  • Can get easier as the day goes on
  • May follow a whiplash injury
  • Accompanying neck pain
  • Made worse by repeated movement of the head

 

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

  • Clinical examination to rule out all other causes of pain.
  • If the cause is cervical then correction of the muscle/joint related problem with manual therapy can help.
  • Stretching of the relevant structures and massage can be very helpful with the pain.
  • Referral to the appropriate medical practitioner for advice regarding adequate medication to help with all other symptoms.

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

  • Cervical headaches can be treated by manual therapy, but only if the assessment of the moving parts in the neck shows this to be true.
  • Appropriate medication and advice should always be sought from a doctor.

 

Exercise Videos: i.e.

  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Pec stretch
  • etc

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X

MEDIC     X

PODIATRY     

Put an ‘X’ next to each health professional that most commonly deals with this injury.

i.e. tennis elbow would be Physio and Medic as injections are common, whereas for muscular LBP it would be Physio and not Medic as they would just refer them to a Physio.

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