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Brentwood Physiotherapy Acupuncture For Headaches

Headache Specialist Physio Clinic

A Headache is defined as a pain in the head or upper neck. It is one of the most common locations of pain in the body and has many causes. Our goal at Brentwood Physiotherapy Calgary is to help you permanently alleviate your headaches through a carefully structured treatment plan or acupuncture session. We have added several physiotherapist, as well as a concussion expert, to our team that specialize in the diagnose and treatment of headaches. 

Acupuncture for headaches?

Utilizing acupuncture for migraines and acupuncture for headaches can be an effective, a study by the Cochrane library involving 4985 patients found 59% success rate. Studies have shown that the practice of placing thin needles at specific points on the body can help alleviate tension and migraine headaches. 

You may be thinking, acupuncture for migraines where do the needles go? Each patient case is unique but the majority of needles will be places around the face, neck and head. Your physiotherapist in Calgary will work with you to develop an effective treatment plan to manage and ultimately resolve relieve your headaches.

How are headaches classified?

Headaches have numerous causes, and in 2007 the International Headache Society agreed upon an updated classification system for headache. This classification system will allow health care practitioners to come to a specific diagnosis as to the type of headache, allowing them to provide better and more effective treatments. 

There are three major categories of headaches: 

  1. primary headaches 
  2. secondary headaches
  3. cranial neuralgias, facial pain, and other headaches

Primary headaches include migraine, tension, and cluster headaches, as well as a variety of other less common types of headache.

Migraine headaches are the second most common type of primary headache. An estimated 28 million people in the United States (about 12% of the population) will experience a migraine headache. Migraine headaches affect children as well as adults. They are caused by an inflammation or irritation of structures that surround the brain.

Tension headaches are the most common type of primary headache. Up to 90% of adults have had or will have tension headaches. Tension headaches occur more commonly among women than men. Although there is no definite cause of tension headaches, the most likely cause is the contraction of the muscles that cover the skull.

Cluster headaches are a rare type of primary headache affecting 0.1% of the population. It more commonly affects men in their late 20s though women and children can also suffer these types of headache. Cluster headaches are debilitating, softening occurring daily for periods of a week or more followed by long periods of time

Secondary headaches are caused by an underlying structural or infectious problem in the head or neck. This encompasses a wide range of medical conditions, from dental pain deriving from infected teeth, to life-threatening conditions like bleeding in the brain or infections like meningitis. Post concussion headaches also fall into this category as well as headaches related to substance abuse. 

When should I seek medical care for a headache?

  • The”worst headache of your life.”
  • Associated with fever or stiff neck. A stiff neck may be due to meningitis
  • Associated with nausea and vomiting
  • Associated with head trauma 
  • Associated with changes in vision, speech, or behaviour
  • Disabling and interfering with work and quality of life
  • Requires more than the recommended dose of over-the-counter medications for pain

How do you get rid of a headache?

  • Do not underestimate the power of a good night sleep and staying hydrated.
  • Acupuncture for headaches and neck pain can be an effective treatment
  • Minimizing your stress. Easier said then done, but managing stress levels can be an effect way to treat headaches
  • If you have had a cold or flu recently we recommend looking at a humidifier. These can be helpful in allowing sinuses to drain.
  • Massaging your temples or the muscles at the back of the neck 
  • Over-the-counter pain medication, in moderation.