Headaches are characterised as any pain present in the head or face. While there are many different types of headaches, they can be classified into two main groups: Primary Headaches and Secondary Headaches. Primary Headaches are not due to another underlying medical condition (Migraine, Cluster headaches, and Tension Headaches fall into this category). Secondary Headaches are related to another condition (Head injury, high blood pressure, infection, Medication overuse, Tumour).
Migraines are a neurological condition that can be triggered differently in each sufferer. Things such as
– Trigger foods (different foods can be a culprit here, such as dairy or gluten, in some people, even something as simple as tomatoes can cause the pain to start)
– Stress levels (work, change in exercise, personal stresses)
– Fatigue (poor sleep contributes to this)
– Eye, neck or back strain caused through poor posture
– Excessive medication use can contribute to accumulating pain.
Migraines can be debilitating and are often accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and can be aggravated by physical activity.
How can we treat these symptoms?
While the most common way to ‘treat’ a migraine is through medications, you can do many things to help prevent them before they start. Reducing physical stresses on the body by releasing tight muscles and restricted joints is a great way to get on top of the symptoms. Many people suffer from tightness in the neck, shoulders and upper back before and after experiencing a migraine. The regular release of these areas can help manage any physical pain levels and can help to reduce the mental stress load suffered due to the physical pain. This can help the sufferer gain the confidence and the drive to make any other changes that may be needed to better manage the condition (such as dietary changes, postural re-training, increased consumption of water).
Techniques such as Cupping and Dry Needling can help immensely release tight structures in the neck and back while increasing blood flow to the area. These techniques are beneficial, especially if the person is particularly sore to the touch. They can release the painful tissues with minimal pain to the person.