We have all experienced this at some point in our life. Headache disorders are one of the most common disorders affecting the nervous system with at least 50% of the world’s population having experienced an episode of symptomatic headache in the last year.
According to the World Health Organisation headache disorders are the third highest contributor to burden of disease, causing significant impact on an individuals social life
, employment, finances and mental health.
Headaches can be caused by a multitude of factors and range in symptom presentation and/or severity. The most commonly seen headaches in private practice include, tension type headache, cervicogenic headache and migraine headache. On the rare occasion headaches induced by medication, pregnancy or jaw related issues can also present.
|Migraine||Tension Type Headache||Cervicogenic headache|
|PhotophobiaPhonophobia Nausea Vomiting Dizziness One sided Pulsating Worse for exertion Aura 4-74 hours durationModerate to severe in intensity More common in females due to hormonal influences Usually presents in early teens and often persists into adulthoodCan be triggered by smells or foods||Pressure/tightness in a headband distribution Mild nausea may also be associated along with sensitivity to sound and light Dull diffuse pain Mild to moderate in intensity Hours to weeks duration More common in females 3:2Usually associated with stress or neck complaints||One-sided Extending from the shoulder region to head ‘rams horn’ distribution Effects males and females 1:1Limits neck range of motion Usually non throbbing begins in the base of skull and extends to forehead Moderate to severe in intensity Hours to weeks duration Can include migraine symptoms nausea etc. Headache arising from dysfunction of the upper cervical spine segments C1-3 Usually associated with neck pain and stress|
Concerning headache symptoms that should be investigated further:
- Facial drooping
- Nose bleeds
- Loss of balance
- Progressive worsening
- Headache caused by increase in intracranial pressure
- New onset of headache over age of 50 or under 5
- Loss of weight, history of cancer and vision issues
Suffer from headaches and needing some help or advice?
The following advice is general only and may not be suitable for you. If you would like further information please contact our friendly osteopaths or book an appointment.