Did you know there are no pain receptors in your brain? You might be thinking “what causes a headache then”? There are many causes of headaches ranging from mild to serious. The most common ones that we deal with at The Muscle Joint are tension type, cervicogenic or thoracogenic, frontal and occipital, jaw related headaches, muscle trigger point headaches and migraines. However our expert practitioners can also determine whether or not your headache represents a more sinister condition.

Tension type headaches feel like there is a vice around your head. It usually occurs on both sides of the head. These are commonly due to increased stress combined with muscular tension

Cervicogenic headaches are headaches that come from your neck joints or muscles. They can present as a pulling or pain behind the eye. They are usually on one side of the head. These headaches can be predisposed by blockages in joint movement through the mid back.

Frontal and occipital headaches can be due to trigger points in neck and shoulder muscles which refer into the head. These can be caused by stress, posture, strains, injury, and whiplash.

All of the above headaches can be fully resolved and/or relieved at The Muscle Joint clinics in Rangiora and Wanaka, with our Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Physiotherapy and/or Acupuncture treatments

Jaw related or temporal-mandibular joint (TMJ) headache are common for people who grind their teeth, have increased stress, have had recent dental/orthodontic treatment, or trauma to the head or jaw. It usually causes pain on one side of the head around the temple region. You may also experience pain, clicking or locking of the jaw. Jaw problems and associated headaches are usually easy to treat with Osteopathy and Chiropractic treatment. The most effective treatment will usually involve intra-oral techniques to access the muscles behind the teeth.

Migraines are a severe headache that usually lasts between 24-72 hours. There are two types. Firstly the the classic migraine has an aura. An aura is a symptom that precedes the migraine which usually is a change in vision, speech, sensation, or movement. Secondly, the common migraine happens without an aura. The migraine is usually one sided, throbbing in nature and made worse by exercise. People with migraines often seek refuge in cold, quite, dark rooms. People often have a trigger for their migraines. At The Muscle Joint we will explore your triggers. Often if the upper neck joints are restricted this can cause migraines to occur more frequently and/or intensely. We often completely resolve migraines, however in some cases immune response may be a component so we may recommend an IgG intolerance test - to eliminate 90 different possible ingested triggers.

To make it worse you can have more than one of these headaches occurring at the same time.

Headaches may come with associated symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and sensitivity to light. Dizziness and nausea can be relieved by a combination of manipulation and stretching techniques for the neck.

Other headaches that may need further investigation can be caused by high blood pressure, vertebral artery insufficiency, stroke or brain bleed, meningitis, whiplash or other brain trauma.

Here at The Muscle Joint we will do a full examination of your back, neck and jaw to determine the cause of your headache. We may also examine your cranial nerves as necessary. We will then deliver a specific and effective treatment for relief of your headache.

Take home advice

1) Neck stretches held for 20 seconds both sides

2) Use a tennis ball or similar to release the muscles of the neck and upper back by lying on the ball.

3) Use a heat pack on the shoulders and around the neck to help release the muscles

#headaches #migraines

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