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WHAT CAUSES HEADACHES?


Throbbing, discomfort and cramping sensations in the head can have many causes, hormonal, dehydration, and muscle tension to name a few. As physiotherapists, we can help to assess and address headaches muscular as well as cervicogenic headaches.

Typically, these headaches are felt in the temple(s), or base of the skull, but different patterns are present in different people, and with different muscles, so it's best to come in for an assessment to determine the true cause of your headache.

The most common areas to build tension that lead to headaches are in the suboccipital muscles, and the trapezius. The suboccipitals are a group of muscles that run between the upper two vertebrae of the neck, and the base of the skull. They typically refer pain behind the eyes or temple region.

The trapezius originates on the base of the skull, and travels into the mid back, with the bulk of the upper trapezius between the neck and shoulder. The upper traps house a large trigger point which often refers pain to the upper neck, and wraps up toward the jaw, back of the ear or temple.

There are many other muscles in the neck which can build tensin and pain into the head, such as the sternocleidomastoid and scalene muscles in the front and side of the neck.

Proper assessment will determine if physiotherapy will be an appropriate course of treatment. Often, myofascial and trigger point release, as well as education and completion of stretches and self trigger point release may provide the headache relief you are seeking.