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What are Tension Headaches?

Over 10 million people in the UK suffer from headaches. Those affected will know just how disruptive they can be. Here, we aim to help people understand the benefits of physiotherapy treatment for tension headaches.

Most people will put headaches down to the stress and strains of everyday life. They may feel that nothing will help, especially if medication has been unsuccessful. However, headaches can have many causes.

In fact, according to the International Headache Society, there are over 300 different types of headaches. One of the most common is the tension headache. The symptoms of a tension headache include pain behind the eyes, in the neck and head, particularly the forehead.

There are a variety of triggers that can cause muscles in the head and neck to contract and lead to tension headaches. Most commonly triggers are due to poor posture, long periods of looking at screens, eye stress and fatigue.

Physiotherapy Treatment for Tension Headache

Physical treatment is not always the first thing people consider for a headache. However, physiotherapy treatment for tension headaches can produce some great results. Especially, where medication and other treatment has failed.

Doctors first thought headaches were linked to blood vessel abnormalities in the brain. However, most experts now accept that some forms of headache are caused by problems in the upper spine. These are called Cervicogenic headaches or tension headaches.

These occur when tension and muscle in the upper back and neck are a contributing factor. Physiotherapy can be very effective in helping to relieve symptoms in this type. This type of treatment can also be a great way to identify and eliminate the cause.

How Physiotherapy can help

Massage techniques and joint manipulations administered can a very effective treatment for tension headaches. Physiotherapists can then use a range of techniques to restore movement and help maintain good posture in the upper spine. They can provide short-term symptom relief.

Achieving Long Term Benefits

Headache sufferers can achieve longer lasting effects by working with their physiotherapist on lifestyle adjustments. In some instances, a structured exercise programme may also help address muscle imbalances. If you spend long periods of time at a desk, on the tube, or using smart phones, your physiotherapist may suggest a desk assessment.

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