What is It?
Sounds obvious, but… “a headache is pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck.” (Healthline.). Fortunately, serious causes of headaches are extremely rare—most are what are called “Tension Headaches.” The most common causes are tight, contracted muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp, and jaw. They are often related to stress, depression, anxiety or overworking.
Other common causes include:
- Holding your head in one position for a long time, for instance at a computer, microscope, or typewriter
- Poor sleep position
- Overexerting yourself
- Clenching or grinding your teeth
Occasionally, headaches are due to problems with the way the joints of the jaw (TMJ) work, or due to misalignments in the upper bones of the neck, caused by tightness in the deep neck muscles.
Tension headaches tend to be on both sides of your head. They often start at the back of your head and spread forward. The pain may feel dull or squeezing, like a tight band or vice. Your shoulders, neck, or jaw may feel tight and sore.
How Can we help?
We’ll begin by listening—we need to hear about how your problem began, and how it’s progressed. We also need to take a proper medical history to make sure it’s safe to treat you!
Next, we need to look at you! A physical examination involving some simple movements by you, and probably your therapist feeling the way your neck and back move, will help us determine the likely reasons for your problem
Once we’ve listened and looked, we’ll treat the causes—if it’s as simple as long-term or repetitive tension, deep, soft-tissue treatment may be all that’s necessary. If there are problems with the jaw or neck, then we may advise mobilisation or manipulative treatment.
Treatment can be given by our Manipulative or sports Therapists, or by an Osteopath depending on the nature of the problem and what we find on examination. All our therapists are fully qualified and registered to provide safe treatment.
How long will it take?
For this kind of problem, patients usually see a marked change within two to three treatments. The length of time necessary to secure a lasting change varies from patient to patient, depending on the cause, whether there are factors which maintain the headache and also, how long you’ve been suffering, however…
- We promise not to suggest any more treatment than you actually need…
- We’ll give you suggestions for ways to reduce or change the factors which caused the problem…
- We’ll give you exercises to help you to improve the situation yourself so that treatment is more effective…
- We might discuss a regular check-up and preventative treatment, if we feel this is appropriate in your case.