What causes headaches and migraines?
There are several things that can trigger headaches and migraines. Underlying causes can be more difficult to identify, however they are likely related to an imbalance in the brain. Imbalances can occur with hormones, chemicals, and electrical activity being relayed to the area of the brain. The more dramatic causes include direct trauma to the head, tumor, fracture, or an aneurysm.
What is the difference between headaches and migraines?
The classification of headaches and migraines is based on a few things. First, the more often the pain occurs usually indicates a migraine. Migraines are a condition that seem can last a lifetime. Second, headaches tend to be less intense than migraines. A person having a migraine can be more debilitated from the symptoms and need to stop what they are doing to treat before it gets worse.
Finally, one of the differences between headaches and migraines are the symptoms. Headaches usually will just cause head pain in the middle or both sides. Migraines will have multiple symptoms on top of pain. Some people will actually feel the migraine come on minutes, hours, or even 1-2 days in advance. This is referred to as the prodome.
What triggers headaches and migraines?
- Eye strain
- Muscle tension
- Poor posture
- Loud noise
- Caffeine withdrawal
- High blood pressure
What are symptoms of headaches and migraines?
Having a pain in the head is just one obvious sign of a problem. Pain may be felt in different places like:
- Top of the head
- Back of the head
- Along the temples
- Between the eyes
- Through one eye
- Wrapping around the head like the letter “C”
Other symptoms can include:
- Blurry vision
- Neck stiffness
- Sensitivity to light, smells, or noises
- Difficulty concentrating
What helps relieve headaches and migraines?
The first thing to help is removing the trigger from making the pain worse. Knowing what caused the pain to start initially can even help you prevent the next time it happens. In cases where it seems like a mystery, try to remove common triggers from your environment to see how it helps.
- Look away from your computer screen, TV, or phone
- Pull the shades closed around the windows
- Move to a darker room or turn off the light
- Turn down volume on music
- Put on noise cancelling headphones
- Place a cold pack on the head where it hurts
- Apply Peppermint essential oil where it hurts
What are some Physical Therapy treatments for headaches and migraines?
- Dry Needling
- Myofascial Cupping
- Custom Foot Orthotics
- Kinesiology Taping
- Cold Laser, Custom Foot Orthotics
- Theragun G3PRO
- Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Posture and Ergonomics
- Spinal Manipulation
How can My PT help?
We provide education about the diagnosis we believe you have. Below is a list of back conditions we see most often.
- Cervicogenic Headache
- Trigger Point Migraines
- Occipital Neuralgia
- Post Concussion Syndrome