Have you ever had one of those debilitating headaches that stops you in your tracks? Nearly 1 in 20 adults suffer some form of headache every day, so you’re not alone. Throbbing, piercing, sometimes even both— however your headaches show up, they always put a painful damper in your day. But it doesn’t have to be like that! Headaches can be managed with a range of treatments, so you can get back to living life as pain-free as possible.
This blog explores the main types of headaches, what can cause them, and how they can be treated. For personalised information or further advice, contact our team at The Whole Body Clinic today.
4 Common Types of Headaches
Headaches come in many different forms and can cause a variety of symptoms. While most are due to issues like muscle tension, dehydration, stress, or sinus irritation, certain red flags can indicate an underlying issue. If you’re concerned about your headaches, please speak with your GP.
Headaches can be episodic (occurring every once in a while, lasting up to several hours) or chronic (occurring frequently and can last for days at a time). The most common types include:
1. Tension Headaches
Often referred to as stress headaches, some people say tension headaches can feel like your head is being squeezed in a vice. Others say it feels like they’re wearing a hat that is too tight. Tension headaches cause pain around the crown of the head, usually affecting both sides at once.
2. Sinus Headaches
Pain from sinus headaches is typically focused around the front of the head and the face, due to the location of the sinuses. Mucus in the sinuses can build up which causes pressure, typically resulting in a dull ache.
3. Cluster Headaches
Cluster headaches often occur behind or around one eye, forming a headache on one side of the head. This pain is generally more of a piercing feeling, and can be accompanied by nasal congestion. Their name comes from the fact that occur in a series, usually one to four a day, and can last for months at a time.
A migraine is an intense, throbbing headache that can keep you in bed for days. While they’re different for each person, typically migraines get worse with movement, light, or sound, and can include nausea and vomiting. Migraines affect 1 in 7 adults in the world at some point in their lives, and children can suffer from migraines as well.
Headache Treatment Options
Thankfully, there are many different treatment options for most headache types. Some you can do at home, while others require a professional, such as an osteopath.
Over the counter medications like paracetamol and ibuprofen can assist greatly with headache symptoms. Treating the underlying cause is important as well. Drinking water can help reduce a headache caused by dehydration, as can having a rest if your headache is due to a lack of sleep.
Osteopathy For Headaches
Osteopathy, a holistic treatment which has been in existence for nearly 100 years, is a great option for many headache and migraine sufferers. Headaches caused by muscle tension or joint strain typically respond well to osteopathy treatment.
Research has shown Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) decreases headache intensity and frequency. Osteopathy includes a full assessment to determine the underlying cause of the headache or migraine. An osteopath will then use manual therapy techniques using their hands to release tension in muscles around the neck. Other treatments such as massage therapy and exercise physiology may be included, as treatment differs between each individual.
Osteopathy typically uses hands-on techniques like soft tissue massage, stretching, and joint mobilisation and articulation to release tension in the muscles, joints, and nerves. These treatments aim to target blockages and tension that lead to headaches and migraines. This helps with resolving or managing symptoms for the long term, rather than just a day.
Looking for an Osteopath in Brisbane?
If you’re suffering from headaches or migraines, we hope this article has been helpful for you to discover the different headache types and treatment options available. At The Whole Body Clinic we offer treatment to residents throughout Brisbane including Mount Gravatt, Park Ridge, Holland Park, Moorooka, Sunnybank, Wishart, Mackenzie, Carindale, Wellers Hill, Greenslopes, and Eight Mile Plains. Our osteopaths are experienced in treating headaches and are passionate about helping you live life to the fullest.
To get started, make an appointment with one of our team today.