Headaches

A headache is extremely common and is characterized by varying pain and discomfort in the head or neck. Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine is a valuable method that can reduce symptoms associated with headache pain.

What is a headache?

A headache presents as varying pain around the head and neck region and is a problem that almost everyone experiences at some point in their life. The most commonly experienced headache is the primary headache. Primary headaches are not caused by an underlying condition. They can be a result of stress, squinting, poor posture, certain foods, fatigue, menstrual periods and noise. Primary headaches can be either tension type headaches, cluster headaches or migraines.
Tension type headaches are characterized by pain on both sides, the pain is of a pressing or tightening nature and there may be some sensitivity to light and noise.Cluster headaches are less common and are indicated by attacks of severe pain on one side. Cluster headaches are likely to occur daily and eye watering, red eyes and sinus pain may be experienced.
Migraines are associated with visual, sensory and speech disturbances. Visual disturbances include double vision, flickering lights, spots and blind spots. Migraines can also be characterized by nausea and general severe pain and discomfort in the head and neck.
The Stroke & Diabetes Center uses a variety of treatment methods and activities that will help minimize symptoms, increase energy levels and improve everyday functions that may have been affected by primary headaches.

Other types of headaches include
  • Secondary headaches – caused by underlying condition such as brain tumor or substance overuse
  • Primary cough headaches – brought on by coughing or straining
  • Primary exertional headaches – brought on by exercise
  • Hypnic headaches – dull headaches that appear when waking from sleep
  • Cervogenic headaches – caused by a disorder in the neckWhat symptoms will I experience?
    The symptoms that are experienced may vary significantly and depends on the type of headache that is presenting. Symptoms may include:

    • Dull pain or discomfort on one or both sides of your head and / or neck
    • Pain may be of a pressing or tightening nature
    • Pain may be throbbing
    • The headache may be frequent or irregular
    • The headache may be mild or severe
    • The headache may appear gradually or come on suddenly
    • The headache may be accompanied by;
    • visual disturbances
    • fever
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • confusion
    • weakness
    • stiffness
    • In some cases headaches can be severely debilitating and can have a large impact on functioning and everyday life. Headaches can result in reduced mobility, energy levels, overall fitness and general health. There are a variety of current treatment options for relieving symptoms of a headache such as painkillers, nerve stimulation and relaxation techniques. Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine has shown to be a useful method in helping reduce problems caused by headaches.
What treatments will I receive for Headaches?

Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine is an effective method to help relieve some of the symptoms you are experiencing as a result of headaches. Your physical medicine doctor, neurologist, and rehabilitation specialists will begin by carrying out a comprehensive assessment that will identify the type of headache you are experiencing and its cause. Your treatment team will aim to recreate the pain in order to identify the exact cause of your headaches. An accurate diagnosis will allow your treatment team to develop an appropriate treatment plan that will directly improve the problems you are experiencing.

The Stroke & Diabetes Center uses a variety of treatments and activities to improve your physical abilities, functioning and everyday performance. The main aim of your treatment is to improve your quality of life by maintaining physical activity and mobility whilst also reducing any pain and impairments. The treatment team will also aim to promote your energy levels, fitness and general wellbeing.