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  • Writer's pictureDr Claire Chittleborough


Whether you suffer from tension headaches caused by stress or poor posture, or severe migraines, headaches can be a major pain. They may be a common ailment, but chronic sufferers know how debilitating they can be. Did you know that there are many different causes and all different types? They range in severity, frequency and even location. In this blog, we take a look at some of the common types and how chiropractic treatment may help treat them.

What are the common types?

A headache that arises on its own is referred to as primary, while one that is a symptom of another condition is known as secondary. Tension, migraine, and cluster are all types of primary headaches. Secondary headaches can be caused by a long list of conditions. Some common causes are: allergies (think sinus aches), hormone fluctuations, or high blood pressure (warning this can signal a medical emergency).

Common triggers

There are many causes of headaches, here are some of the common triggers:

● Stress

● Alcohol (red wine in particular is a culprit!)

● Poor posture

● Jaw pain or tension

● Injuries to the head, neck or spine

● Dehydration

● Arthritis

● Ear, nose and throat issues

● Straining the eyes

● Hormonal fluctuations.


This is the most common headache people experience and is generally experienced as mild to moderate pain or tightness around the forehead and back of head. It has been described as feeling like there is a tight band squeezing around your head (ouch!). It may be chronic i.e. occurring every day for more than a fortnight, or episodic, occurring less than 14 days in a month.

Stress and tension are common causes, hence the name however it can also be triggered by:

● Poor posture

● Distress/grief

● Fatigue and anxiety

● Bright lighting or loud noises.


A migraine is a severe headache that causes a range of symptoms. It is typically experienced as a severe pain on one side of the head accompanied by nausea or vomiting and light sensitivity. It can last between a few hours and a few days.

Many factors may cause a migraine, but some common triggers include:

● Sleep changes

● Skipping meals

● Certain foods and alcoholic drinks

● Hormone changes in women.


This type of secondary headache arises when pain from the neck is referred up to the head. It usually occurs on one side of the head and is experienced as a constant dull ache. It can be accompanied by reduced range of motion in the neck, and pain in the shoulder and arm.

How to treat a headache at home

When you feel a headache coming on, there are steps you can take to manage your symptoms:

· Drinking water, particularly if you suspect dehydration is a trigger.

· Lying down in a quiet, dark room (or using an eye mask)

· If the headache is mild, some fresh air may help

· Sleep

· If all else fails… Taking over-the-counter medication for pain relief (always consult your doctor first)

How can chiropractic treatment help?

If you are suffering from chronic headaches, chiropractic treatment may be able to help. Research shows that chiropractic treatment including spinal manipulation improves migraines and cervicogenic headaches.

During your appointment, we will discuss your symptoms, medical history, and overall lifestyle to better understand your condition. We will examine your spine to understand whether referred pain is contributing to your condition. We may be able to help you get to the root cause of your headaches.

We will then work with you to form an appropriate treatment plan that may include techniques such as manual therapy, soft tissue massage, and lifestyle changes to hopefully reduce the severity and frequencies of your headaches.

If you are experiencing chronic headaches and need help to manage your symptoms, then give us a call on 0413 774 399 or email to book your appointment!

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