What is a Headache?
Pain of any type that occurs in any part of the head is called a headache. There are many different types of headaches, with just as many causes. The International Headache Society describes several different categories of headache:
- Migraine and cluster
- Cranial neuralgias or facial pain
- Secondary headaches from an underlying condition, such as:
- infectious disease
- sinus disorder
- in rare cases, a tumor or more serious illness.
Should I be concerned about headaches?
Most headaches are not due to a serious illness and can be managed with time, over the counter medications, or simple interventions. However, headaches are a common occurrence in individuals with known neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, or a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury. If you have a known neurological condition should notify their health care provider if headaches occur, especially if they are happening frequently or are severe in intensity.
How can I treat headaches?
There is effective treatment for almost every type of headache. The challenge lies in determining the type of headache, its cause, and in developing an appropriate treatment plan that will reduce both its frequency and intensity. Physical therapists can help determine the type of headache you have, and are experts in managing pain from a variety of sources.
Muscle tension in the jaw and/or neck can cause cervicogenic-type headaches. Cervicogenic headaches can be effectively managed with physical therapy, including manual therapy techniques. Muscular tension or posture can also cause migraine-type headaches and can be managed with physical therapy techniques.
If you have chronic headaches, neck pain or jaw pain, call for an initial evaluation to assess possible causes and treatment options to address your pain!