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According to the world health organisation roughly 50% of adults currently suffer from headaches at least once a year. There are multiple classifications for headaches, as it is a symptom of an underlying cause or condition. Headaches can be broadly classified as either being a primary or secondary headache. A primary headache has no underlying pathology, they are usually recurrent and don’t progress. A secondary headache has an underlying pathology, it is often occurs suddenly, is constant and progressive.

It is within a chiropractor’s scope to treat primary headaches. These type of headaches include: Tension Type, Cluster, Migraine and Cervicogenic.

Tension type headaches are the most common form of headache. The exact cause is not yet fully understood, however it is said to be most likely a result of muscle contraction due to tension and psychological stress. Tension Type headaches tend to occur in those 20-40 years of age, with females being slightly more predisposed. Risk factors include: stress, missing meals and fatigue. Tension type headaches present as a tightening band at the front on both sides of the head. It is non pulsating with mild to moderate intensity. It is not aggravated by physical activity, and does not have associated symptoms of nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to noise and light. Tension type headaches can last from 30 minutes up to 7 days.

Cluster headaches presents as pain in and around one eye. It is short repeated one sided excruciating pain that last seconds to minutes. It most commonly affects males in their 20-40’s. Risk factors include: family history of cluster headaches, head injury, smoking and heavy drinking. 

Migraine is the second most common type of headache. Migraines are split into 2 categories: one with aura (symptoms occurring prior onset of migraine) a “classic migraine”, the other without aura called a “common migraine”. The risk factors include: family history, environmental triggers, stress, sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, certain foods- chocolate/ cheese/ caffeine/ alcohol/ fruits, missing meals, physical activity. Triggers are anything that contribute to a migraine attack, they are not the cause however increase the risk of a migraine attack occurring. Common migraines typically last 4- 72 hours. It presents as a one sided temporal pulsating pain that is moderate to severe in intensity. It may be increased by physical activity, and have associated nausea/ vomiting/ sensitivity to light or sound. The Classic migraine presents as a Common migraine, however has an associated aura. The period before the migraine is sometimes reported to occur several hours prior including symptoms such as mood changes, food cravings, and excessive thirst. The symptoms of the aura include visual (flickering lights, spots or lines/ loss of vision), sensory (pins and needles/ numbness), speech disturbances. These symptoms may last from 5 to 60 minutes, where the migraine occurs during this period.

Cervicogenic headaches are thought to arise from musculoskeletal impairments in the cervical spine (neck). Roughly 25% of the adult population are affected by this type of headache, with the most common being females. Most often it occurs in those 20 to 60 years of age. Some risk factors of cervicogenic headaches include- poor posture, muscle hypertonicity/ weakness, previous head/neck trauma (whiplash), poor ergonomics, inadequate pillow or sleeping postures, sedentary lifestyle, occupation comprising desk work/ shoulders, psychological stress. It presents headache that can be one or on both sides of the head. It is usually a dull ache, which increases with neck movements or sustained head position. The range of motion of the neck will be decreased, and the onset and resolution of the headache will simultaneous with the neck pain. 

If you are experiencing a headache, and these presentations seem very familiar, feel free to visit our chiropractors here at Lakeside Chiropractic Clinic. Headaches are a common complaint we see day in day out, so don’t put up with the pain and suffer when there is possibility to treat the cause. Here at Lakeside Chiropractic we have a variety of treatment modalities including- spinal manipulative therapy, activator adjustments, soft tissue therapy, mobilisations to affected joints, cold laser therapy, interferential, dry needling, strapping (kinesiotaping), rehabilitative exercises and stretches, advice on retraining posture and pillows that will facilitate in your treatment. 

Lakeside Chiropractic is located in Joondalup, local to the northern suburbs of Perth. Surrounding suburbs include Banksia Grove, Carramar, Kinross, Clarkson, Woodvale, Kingsley, Whitfords, Mullaloo, Burns Beach, Padbury, Sorrento and Wangara. Please come and see our friendly chiropractors to help you on your road to recovery. We accept all major health care insurances and provide HICAPS for AHM, Medibank, HBF, HIF, SGIO and many more. 

You can contact us on 9300 0095, or visit our website to make an enquiry or booking.


December 13, 2016