Almost everyone has experienced a headache before, and why some people have never experienced one before is not known. There are hundreds of different types of headaches, of these the most common three are:
Of these, tension headache are the most common form of headaches. Current research indicates that the average prevalence for tension type headaches is 36% for men, 42% for women, this means that on average 7 million Australians are likely experiencing this type of headache. Headaches Australia reports that 60% of those with tension-type headaches experience reductions in their social activities and in their work capacity and performance.
15% of the population suffers from a migraine at some stage in their life. They most often appear throughout childhood and early adulthood, and the age group greatly affected is 35-45 years. Headaches Australia describe a migraine as a one-sided throbbing or pulsating headache which can be aggravated by exertion e.g. physical activity.
What causes headaches?
Cervicogenic headaches are thought to be caused by one of the many structures in our neck, which then radiates to other areas such as the top of the head, back of the head, or side. This type of headache can occur gradually or as a result of an injury, for example: whip lash.
Tension headaches are caused by excessive muscle contraction of the shoulder muscles, jaw muscles, or neck muscles. This type of headache can be caused by poor posture, stress and fatigue.
Migraines are caused by the interaction between the brain and the cranial blood vessels. Migraines can be debilitating for those affected, as is usually accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or noise.
Treatment and prevention
Treatment for headaches will focus on your identified factors which may be contributing to the development of your headache. These treatments may include:
Shoulder and scapula motor coordination exercises
Cervical spine strengthening
Range of movement techniques