Physiotherapy Matters launch week day 6: Headaches

November 28, 2014

As part of our celebrations to officially launch our new clinical site at Regent Centre, Gosforth, we’re exploring the top 5 common aches, pains and conditions suffered in the UK which we treat here at Physiotherapy Matters. In this blog, we’re exploring headaches.

Headaches are one of the most common health complaints in the UK, however most aren’t serious and can be treated with over the counter painkillers. Other types of headaches will greatly benefit from physiotherapy treatment.

There are many different types of headaches. Primary headaches, including tension headaches and migraines, are not caused by other underlying health problems. Secondary headaches, such as hormone headaches or temporomandibular joint disorders, can be attributed to other illnesses or underlying causes.

What causes headaches?

Different types of headaches can be caused by many varying factors. Tension headaches are the most common, everyday headaches. They are known for feeling like a dull ache or constant pressure around the head.

Migraines are a less common type of headache, they are often reoccurring and can be disabling when it comes to carrying on with your normal daily routine. They often feel like a pounding or throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head.

Cluster headaches are a less common type of primary headaches. They are often excruciatingly painful, causing pain around the eyes. Cluster headaches tend to happen in ‘clusters’ for a couple of months at a time.

Secondary headaches include medication headaches, hormone headaches and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJs). TMJs affect the joints between the jaw and the base of the skull, with symptoms usually lasting a few months at a time.

Causes of primary headaches:

  • Stress
  • Consuming too much alcohol
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Depression
  • Dehydration
  • Hormonal changes
  • Additives in food
  • Referred from the neck

Causes of secondary headaches:

  • Following a cold or the flu
  • After allergic reactions
  • As side effects from taking medications
  • Changing hormones or menopause

How to treat headaches…

Depending on the type of headache you’re suffering from, the following can be effective treatments:

  • Painkillers
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Posture management
  • Stress management
  • Sleeping or resting
  • Massage or joint mobilisation

For more serious and reoccurring headaches consult your doctor for treatment.

Preventing headaches…

Although not always preventable, there are ways in which you can decrease the chances of suffering from headaches including:

  • Keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids
  • Reducing stress with stress management techniques
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Improving your diet
  • Try to avoid taking painkillers regularly

Why physiotherapy matters…

Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. Our Senior Physiotherapists are trained healthcare professionals who treat people of all ages, working within guidelines that are based upon the most recent and high quality evidence and research.

Physiotherapy can help you to manage symptoms of headaches, particularly by reducing stiffness in the joints in the upper neck. Upon assessment of your symptoms when experiencing headaches, our Senior Physiotherapists may recommend a combination of massage, joint mobilisation, stretching, posture management and stress management.

If you would like to book an appointment with one of our Senior Physiotherapists to assess your headaches and devise a treatment plan please call on 0191 285 8701 or email us at for more information.


No matter whether your condition was caused by a sport, work accident or otherwise, we welcome the chance to serve you.

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