Headache Treatment Brisbane

Don’t Suffer Recurring Pain With Effective Headache Treatment Brisbane

If you’re suffering headaches regularly as a part of everyday life, you shouldn’t be. While headaches and migraines are a very common complaint, they can be treated at the source for long-term relief.

Headaches affect as many as 50% of people worldwide. There are many different types of headaches, including migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches and headaches from the neck (these are called cervicogenic headaches). Headaches are a debilitating condition and cause a lot of distress for sufferers.



Headaches can be treated at the source for long-term relief

Headaches and migraines occur when the area in the back of the head and neck becomes overly sensitive. There are a lot of nerves that pass through this area, so when the nerves are stimulated the brain might decide that it’s too much. This can also depend on whether your brain thinks that there is danger involved.

When you continue to have frequent headaches, the brain becomes sensitised and the headaches can occur more frequently. Most headaches have some neck involvement, so often treating the neck and increasing the stability and flexibility of the neck muscles will help to reduce many symptoms. Desensitising these symptoms can also help.

Cervicogenic headaches originate from the neck. Chronic neck tension causes pain to refer into the back of the head. This often occurs due to poor sitting posture and awkward sleeping positions. Despite not originating from the neck, other types of headaches will often have tension in their neck muscles as they will be trying to compensate due to the pain. The upper levels of the neck have direct nerve referrals to the head, meaning that any dysfunction at these levels can lead to headache symptoms.

Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for headaches. Our physiotherapists perform a detailed assessment to determine the true source of your headache symptoms. Treatment usually involves soft tissue massage, blading, joint mobilisations, dry needling, stretches, strengthening exercises, postural retraining and ergonomic modifications (e.g. desk setup, pillow and mattress choice).

By visiting one of the expert physiotherapists at Graceville Physio, we can get to the bottom of your pain and provide effective headache and migraine treatment.

Contact us today to book an appointment.

What Types Of Headaches Do We See At Graceville Physio?

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are very common in people who work at lot at a desk (either in an office or at home) or are stressed or anxious. Tension-type headaches can feel like there is vice on the head, or there may be a feeling of tension in the forehead, pain in the base of the skull or pain through the whole skull. Sometimes there can also be some visual disturbances, which can be quite distressing to the person with the headache.

The joint in the spine which seems to be responsible is the first joint in the neck where it attaches to the skull. When this joint is stiff or tight it sensitises the system which then causes the tension headache. 

When you have a tension headache you may be unable to nod or turn your head properly. The dysfunction that occurs then causes the muscles around the joint to tighten up and then weaken. As these muscles are not working properly the pain is then felt like a compression-type pain. When both joints are affected there is often pain in the back of the head. Sometimes only one joint is affected and then you may have some unilateral signs.



Migraines typically will occur on one side of the head, starting as a dull ache before becoming a throbbing pain. They often last up to 3 days and can be preceded by an aura. Symptoms often include sensitivity to light and noise, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and lack of appetite. These types of headaches can be very intense due to the length of time and related symptoms.

Sometimes this pain can move from one side of the head to the other. If this happens then it is then likely that the neck is the issue. This is good because then treatment and manual therapy to the neck can help to reduce the symptoms. If your headache is only ever on one side then there may be just the one joint on that side that is the problem. 

There can also be some instability in the top of the neck when there has been damage to the ligaments in the top part of the neck sometimes from a whiplash-type of injury.

Temporo Mandibular Dysfunction (TMJ, Jaw Pain)

We find that in our clinic a lot of BPPV symptoms have gone away after only two treatments. In the few days following a treatment it’s important that the patient takes good care of themselves to ensure the little ear rocks do not go back into the canal where they were stuck.

Temporo Mandibular Dysfunction is often called TMJ, but this is actually the term used for the temporomandibular joint which is the jaw joint. Issues with this joint can result in aching facial pain or pain in and around the ear, which can mimic the feeling of a headache.

Sometimes this dysfunction on the jaw can also have an upper neck component to it. Therefore, it’s important to see a professional and for your therapist to be able to assess the jaw, the neck and the upper back.

    Vestibular Headache (migrainous vertigo)

    A vestibular headache, or migrainous vertigo, often involves dizziness and vertigo-like symptoms, and can even be a symptom of vertigo itself. These can be caused by a difference between the tightness in the neck muscles on either side of the spine. The brain then thinks that something is wrong, so the vestibular system says that you are off balance and therefore you feel dizzy. 

    Working on the neck or cervical spine joints and muscles to work on the symmetry and balance can help to reduce these symptoms. Talk to one of our experienced physiotherapists today.

      Occipital Neuralgia

      Occipital Neuralgia is the term for when there is shooting pain up into the back of the head. It’s  caused when the nerves that run from the top of the spine to the scalp are inflamed. These are often confused with migraines, as the symptoms can be similar.

      The pain is like electric shocks or jabbing in the neck and head. Other symptoms can include pain behind the eye, sensitivity to light, or pain in the neck.

        Trigeminal Neuralgia

        Trigeminal Neuralgia affects the trigeminal nerve and is a chronic condition. It’s a sensitivity condition where stimulating the nerve can cause pain. It’s characterised by electric shock type pain up the side and across the face. 

        This pain can be triggered by a variety of everyday actions such as chewing, shaving, brushing your teeth or even talking. Some people who have this condition may even go for extended periods of time with no pain at all.

          Abdominal Migraine

          Abdominal Migraines are seen most often in children, commonly between the ages of 5-9 years old. The most common symptom is a dull ache in the stomach, behind the belly button area. It can also be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. 

          These pains can be linked to adults in the family who also experience head migraines, and often as children with abdominal migraines get older these symptoms will disappear and develop into migraine headaches.

            Cyclic Vomiting

            Cyclic vomiting occurs with gastro type symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhoea. The stress on your body of vomiting often and repeatedly can then cause headaches and neck pain.

            Both cyclic vomiting and abdominal migraines can have connections to the neck and if migraine treatment medicine prescribed by your doctor helps the symptoms in these cases, then manual physiotherapy to the neck may also help.

              Hemiplegic Migraines

              Hemiplegic Migraines are a variant of migraine that can appear like a stroke, so it is very important to have stroke ruled out by your doctor before beginning migraine treatment. As part of this migraine, you can experience a temporary weakness or paralysis on one side of our body. 

              Treating the symptoms would only be able to occur if all of the scans were clear. Then, some manual physiotherapy treating the neck and spine area may make a difference to the symptoms.

                See A Our Physiotherapists To Start Headache Treatment Brisbane

                It’s very important that all types of headaches are assessed thoroughly by a physiotherapist who has the expertise in treating this area of your spine.

                Treatment of these headaches starts with a physiotherapist mobilising the joint, to promote strength and stability in the muscles. You can then continue your headache treatment at home with some recommended exercises. 

                If these at-home exercises make your pain worse, stop immediately. If treatment does not help it may be that the manual therapy has been directed in the wrong area, so make sure you see a qualified physiotherapist first who will assess your neck and work out which direction the pain is coming from.

                GracevillePhysio Action 25 - Headache Treatment

                Frequently Asked Questions

                How do I make my headache go away?

                There are several ways to make a headache go away. The first thing to do is to make sure the headache isn't related to dehydration or lack of food. After that, try spending some time in the dark to ease the strain on your eyes. If none of these work, come see us.

                What could be the cause of daily headaches?

                There are a few reasons you might be experiencing daily headaches, but the most common reason for headaches is poor posture through the neck. This can be caused by sitting and looking at a computer on a poor angle or looking down at a phone with your neck on a very foward angle.

                Contact Graceville Physio For Treatment Of All Types Of Headaches

                Stop living in pain and letting headaches take over your life. Our experienced back and neck physiotherapists will perform a thorough examination and offer effective treatment to get you living pain-free. Call us today or book an appointment online.

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