Headaches & Migraines


Headaches and migraines can be very uncomfortable and can significantly decrease quality of life.

Both headaches and migraines can be triggered by various factors, including neck tension, stress, certain foods, changes in sleep patterns, hormonal changes, and more.

Our treatment techniques can be combined within a treatment plan tailored to the specific needs and goals of each patient. 

The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms, manage triggers, correct postural and muscular imbalances, and improve overall function. 


Our therapists use several techniques to treat headaches and migraines including:

  • Manual therapy: use of manual techniques, such as myofascial release, trigger point release, and joint mobilizations to reduce muscular stiffness and facilitate smooth range of motion around the head and neck.

  • Exercise therapy: use of exercises to improve posture, range of motion, strength, stability, and coordination around the head and neck.

  • Education: education regarding proper posture, body mechanics, lifestyle recommendations, and stress management to reduce the contributing factors of headaches and migraines.

  • Modalities: use of modalities, such as acupuncture, heat or ice therapy, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound to manage inflammation and tension around the head and neck.

  • Prevention: education regarding how to prevent future injuries and how to maintain proper posture and body mechanics to reduce the risk of further injury. 

Types of headaches and migraines

Physiotherapists are well-equipped to treat a variety of headache and migraine disorders, including:

Tension headaches are a type of headache characterized by dull and constant pressure around the head, temples, or forehead. It is usually caused by muscle tension in the neck, scalp, and shoulder muscles. In some cases, it can be associated with sensitivity to light and sound.

Other factors like stress, fatigue, and dehydration can contribute to muscle tension and increase the severity of a tension headache.

Cervicogenic headaches are a type of headache that originates from the cervical spine. They are caused by a dysfunction or injury to the neck, such as muscle or joint problems, nerve compression, or spinal instability.

The pain is characterized by dull aches on one side of the face, and may also radiate to the back of the head or behind the eyes.

Cervicogenic headaches can be aggravated by neck movements and prolonged poor posture, and may be associated with neck stiffness, shoulder pain, or limited neck range of motion.

A neurological condition characterized by recurring and severe headaches usually on one side of the head. The pain may feel like it is throbbing or pulsating.

Migraines are often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Some people may experience aura symptoms before a migraine attack, such as visual changes, tingling in the arms or legs, or difficulty speaking.

A type of headache that can cause sharp, piercing, or burning pain around one side of the head or eye.

They are often accompanied by symptoms such as redness, swelling, tearing of the eye, nasal congestion, and sweating on the forehead.

Cluster headaches occur in cyclical patterns over weeks or months, and can occur multiple times a day. They may last anywhere between 15 minutes to 3 hours.

A rare type of headache that impacts the area around the forehead, cheek, or around the eyes, that is associated with inflammation or congestion of the sinuses, which are air-filled spaces in the skull that are connected to the nasal passages.

Sinus headaches may be caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, infections, or structural abnormalities in the sinuses. 

It is important to note that many headaches that are believed to be sinus headaches are actually migraines or tension headaches that are mistakenly attributed to sinus problems.

Risks if left untreated

Headaches and migraines can lead to chronic pain, decreased quality of life, decreased productivity, depression, and anxiety.

In some cases, they can also lead to medication overuse, leading to rebound headaches, and worsening of symptoms.

Chronic pain: If left untreated, headaches and migraines can lead to chronic pain, which can negatively impact quality of life and decrease productivity.

While medications may help control the symptoms, in some cases, they may not resolve the source of the problem. This may lead to rebound headaches, and further worsening of symptoms.

Chronic pain that is associated with headaches and migraines can significantly affect one’s ability to function within everyday life, which can lead to depression and anxiety.