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Headache is one of the most common illnesses in Australia, 84 percent of Australians report they have experienced a severe headache in the past 12 months, yet almost 40 percent of these people are not receiving any treatment.1 Sixty percent of people with tension-type headache experience reductions in social activities and work capacity.2 Despite this, both the public and the majority of healthcare professionals tend to perceive headache as a minor or trivial complaint.2 As a result, the physical, emotional, and economic burdens of headache are poorly acknowledged.2 The continual use of pain medication to combat headaches may be like removing the warning light that alerts you to a problem in your car! Analgesic medication doesn’t solve your headache, it simply dulls the pain.

Types of Headache

Tension-type headache is the most widespread of headache disorders. A large part of the population have mild and infrequent tension-type headache (once monthly or less), with 20-30% experiencing headache episodes more often. Tension-type headache is also more common in women.2 The pain is typically bilateral, pressing or tightening in quality and of mild to moderate intensity.4 Other types of headache include sinus headache, rebound headache and exertion headache.3

Causes of Headache

Headaches can result due to a variety of reasons including stress, poor posture, accidents, and medications, environmental factors such as strong odours & pollution and dietary irregularities.

Perhaps one of the most overlooked causes of tension headache is due to nerve irritation in the upper neck caused by poorly functioning spinal joints – Vertebral dysfunction. Since the nerves of the upper neck supply areas of the scalp and face, irritation to these nerves can and often lead to headache.

Assessment of Headache

Your registered acupuncturist at Acu-ease will carefully analyse potential headache triggers and perform a detailed history and musculoskeletal examination. Further investigations such as X-ray, CT or MRI may also be required to accurately assess your headache. If required, you will be referred to your GP for these. After assessing your headache your Registered Acupuncturist at Acu-ease will discuss treatment aims and options with you.