Headaches and migraines



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What are headaches and migraines?

Headaches and migraines are terms used to describe pain that is perceived by the patient to be within the face, head or upper neck. There are literally hundreds of different types of headaches/migraines (see our blog).

At physio4everybody, we first screen you to determine what the main cause of your headache or migraine might be. If you are experiencing a ‘primary’ headache or migraine caused by changes like stiff joints, muscle spasm or irritated nerves in your upper neck, we can provide treatment. If, after assessment, it is clear that you are experiencing a “secondary” headache or migraine that stems from an event such as a stroke or aneurysm (this is not as common as primary headache), we refer you for medical intervention.

How common are headaches/migraines?

According to extrapolated figures, up to three million people suffer from migraine and up to seven million suffer from tension-type headaches in Australia1. Nearly all people who suffer with migraines and 60% of headaches sufferers experience a reduction in their social activities and work capacity during episodes.

What are the causes of primary headaches and migraines?

For those who are interested in the science, current physiotherapy research focuses on the contribution of the ‘trigeminal cervical nucleus’ to headache and migraine. This area of the brainstem acts as an amplifier when sensitised; increasing its outputs to the sensory cortex, thereby creating a perceptible increase in pain experience. By using specific manual techniques to desensitise the trigeminal cervical nucleus, a significant reduction in headaches/migraines can be achieved.2,3

Can physio treat my headaches/migraines?

Yes! Principal physiotherapist at physio4everybody, David Bajayo, has undertaken specific postgraduate training in the treatment of headaches and migraines.
No matter how long you have had your headache or migraine for, whether it has been labelled chronic or not, come and see David. In the vast majority of cases, people with headaches or migraines experience improvements within 3-4 treatment sessions. Call or book online today for an appointment!


1. http://headacheaustralia.org.au/what-is-headache/11-prevalence-and-cost-of-headache, Headache Australia, website accessed 20/9/2014.
2. Dean H. Watson and Peter D. Drummond (2012): Head Pain Referral During Examination of the Neck in Migraine and Tension-Type Headache. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain Volume 52, Issue 8, Pages: 1226–1235
3. Dean H. Watson and Peter D. Drummond (2014) Cervical Referral of Head Pain in Migraineurs: Effects on the Nociceptive Blink Reflex Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain Volume 54, Issue 6, June 2014, Pages: 1035–1045, Dean H. Watson and Peter D. Drummond