The medical model of headaches has two classification of headaches which include primary and secondary headaches.
Primary headaches are of an unknown cause and some of these types include:
Tension -type Headaches (TTH)
Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalagies (TACs)
Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania
Secondary headaches are of a known cause and some of these types include:
Medical conditions, disease such as tumours, cranial vasculitis, subarachnoid hemorrhages
Migraines can present themselves into 3 categories:
Migraine without an aura
Migraines with an aura
Migraine variants (that can be triggered from the stomach, menstrual cycle etc)
Migraines without an aura
Usually present itself as pain on one side of the head and/or alternates to the other side of the within or between episodes.
Can feel like a pulsating sensation
Episode can range from moderate to severe amount of head pain
Can be aggravated by triggers such as routine physical activity
Can have associated features like nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound, light and smell, increase or decrease activity, food cravings and excessive yawning.
Migraines with an aura
An aura can be described as a gradual development of reversible neurological symptoms that is associated with the migraines such as:
Visual symptoms: for example, light flickering, spot, waves, lines or in some cases loss of vision
Sensory symptoms: paraesthesia and/or anaesthesia
Tension Type Headache
Can be episodic that can be frequent or infrequent
Chronic tension headache can occur with or without pericranial tenderness
Tension Type Headaches symptoms
Usually bilateral (symptoms on both sides of the head)
Can feel achy, tight, squeezy sensation and not pulsating
Symptoms can vary from mild to moderate in nature
It is not triggered by physical activity
Can have associated symptom such as sensitivity to sound and/or light
Usually present as short burst of unilateral (one side) of severe temporal pain
This attacks usually present in clusters
Each cluster can last up to 3 minutes that occur up to 8 times a day
These clusters can last for week or month or years with remission
Usually occurs more in males
Cervicogenic headache is a secondary headache and the pathophysiology (the cause) is known. This is one headache that may be coming from your neck and is a condition that a physiotherapist may be able to help with.
Some signs of this type headache can include:
Head pain with neck movement
Head pain with sustained or awkward head positioning
Limited movement of the neck
Shoulder or arm pain on the side of the head pain
How is Cervicogenic headaches diagnosed?
Referred pain that is felt in the head or face, but it is coming from the neck
Imaging that shows a disorder in the neck
Headache that is resolved with an aesthetic block
Headache that is resolved with treatment of the neck
Cervicogenic headaches is a disorder of a structure supplied by one or more segment in the neck usually associated with C1-C3 nerves. These nerves misinterpret information as residing in the trigeminal field and pain is referred to the head. Therefore, treatment to the neck particular to those segments can help relieve or subside symptoms of your head pain.
If you're experiencing any symptoms or headaches listed above come in for some treatment to see if our specific headache treatment can alleviate your symptoms.