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How to get rid of a headache

Published: 01 March 2018 - Injury Treatment and Prevention

Image of woman with headache

Unfortunately for those of use that suffer from headaches, they can be all too common.

Even though headaches are usually harmless and often related to lifestyle factors (i.e. too much alcohol, not enough sleep or dehydration) this doesn’t stop them from being inconvenient, painful and even sometimes debilitating.

So what causes headaches and how can we battle them without the use of drugs?

Obviously the causes of headaches are dependant on many different factors, that’s why it’s often important to get an accurate diagnosis from a professional, especially if this issue is plaguing you regularly. But, if you’re time poor there are lots of little lifestyle tweaks you can make to help prevent them.

First, let’s look at the main types of headaches that people often suffer from:

  • Tension Headache: Thought to be the most common type of headache often cause by stress, lack of sleep or hunger
  • Migraine Headache: They’re extreme and can last from 4 to 72 hours. Migraines are exceptionally painful; sometimes to the point of nausea and cause excessive sensitivity to light and loud noises.
  • Cluster Headaches: These are recurring headaches that continuously come back throughout the day. They often occur at night time and can be even more painful than a migraine, although not lasting as long. If your headaches come back repeatedly one to three times a day for an extended period of time (from two weeks to three months) then you are probably suffering from Cluster Headaches.
  • Cervicogenic Headache: Originating in the neck, these headaches are associated with joints, muscles and nerves. They occur from repeated strenuous activity on the neck, such as poor posture. Read more about cervicogenic headaches.
  • Sinus Headache: As if being sick wasn’t bad enough! Adding a sinus headache to the mix is just awful. These usually occur when your sinuses are inflamed due to illness and the mucus can’t drain properly from the area.

So now we know the differences, how can we get rid of these headaches?

For a quick and simple solution, read our 10 tips to prevent headaches.

If headaches are a perpetual issue for you, a visit to the physio could really provide a helping hand. Find out if you have TMJ Syndrome.

Physiotherapy can help with the management of all headaches, but particularly those that are related to the neck muscles and joints.

As we have learned, poor posture, tight muscles, stiff joints and weakness can all contribute to that pain you’re feeling in your head.  

There are a selection of treatments that physios often recommend to get rid of severe and ongoing headaches, these include:

  • Manual therapy to free up tight structures
  • Massage to release tense muscles, these can sometimes be relaxing
  • Traction to take the pressure off the head and neck
  • Exercises to help correct poor posture and strengthen the deep neck muscles
  • Pilates to train the core stabilising muscles
  • A general exercise program and personal training to recondition the body
  • Braces and supports to aid with posture
  • A thorough check of a desk and computer setup

Some of these treatments are more extreme than others, but don’t worry you probably won’t be asked to do them all at once (support braces and pilates would certainly make for an interesting mix!) Manual therapy and massage will probably be the most prominent and common physio solutions, and these can at times be quite relaxing, bonus!

Gone are the days where your only solution to a pounding head was a packet of pain relievers. Paying closer attention to your body means it’s easier to stop debilitating headaches at their source.

Let Motion Health help you source the cause so you can get on with the finer things in life again. Like ice cream… oh no, brain freeze!  

To learn more about how you can eliminate headaches, contact your nearest Motion Health practice. Book a Free Initial Assessment to speak with your physio about tailoring a program to suit you and exploring the prospect of further investigation.