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Headache Treatment

If you have also been told that there is nothing you can do for your headaches or migraines, except to take medication, then it’s time for a second opinion.


Headaches are often caused by problems in the upper neck and may be exacerbated by poor posture, repeated movements, stress or emotional tension. Physiotherapists can often have a positive effect on even the most long-standing headaches, including those that may not, at first, seem as though they are related to the neck.

It has long been accepted in clinical research that Cervicogenic and Tension Type Headaches can be effectively treated by physiotherapy techniques including mobilisation, manipulation, soft tissue release and therapeutic exercise. Current research is pointing to the fact that similar techniques may well be helpful in other types of headache including migraine.

The nerves of the upper three segments of the neck are related very closely, through the brainstem, to the nerves that serve the face and head. When there are problems with how these three segments of the neck are moving or sitting, sensitisation of the nerves that serve the head and face can occur leading to headache. It follows that treatment of problems in the upper three segments of the neck can reduce and eliminate headache.


There may be a contribution from the upper neck in almost any type of headache including those with associated symptoms such as aura, nausea, dizziness and even vomiting. It is very likely that your headache is originating from your neck if any of the following are true;

  • Headache onset follows stiffness or ache in the neck
  • Headache is aggravated by prolonged neck postures
  • Headache is aggravated by neck movements
  • Headache is aggravated by stress or emotional tension

At Proactive Physiotherapy, we believe in the International Headache Institute’s Bill of Rights which states that “the headache sufferer has the right to know his/her headache diagnosis as precisely as possible, and to know the nature of the headache disorder, it’s prognosis and the possible types of treatment”. It is necessary to have a thorough assessment by a skilled practitioner to achieve this outcome. Proactive Physiotherapy has several physiotherapists who have specific post-graduate training in the assessment and treatment of headache using the Watson Headache Institute method. Contact the clinic today to make an appointment to see one of these practitioners and ease the pain of headache.