Types of Headaches


In this blog post, we will focus on four common headache presentations. We will explore
symptoms, causes and treatments available. We will also touch on symptoms and
characteristics to be cautious of, where urgent medical attention may be required.

Cervicogenic headaches

Cervicogenic headaches typically present as pain on one side of your face. They tend to
manifest as a steady pain that doesn’t throb and can occur when coughing or sneezing. Neck
stiffness may also accompany. Causes include tension within neck musculature, arthritic
conditions, postural problems, whiplash, sports injuries, and falls. Treatments available
include Osteopathy, Sports massage, or other manual therapies, exercise rehabilitation,
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), ice/ heat therapy, and avoiding or
modifying activities that may be aggravating your symptoms.

Migraine headaches

Migraine headaches typically present as moderate to severe throbbing, pulsating pain on
one side of the head. Some individuals experience prodromal symptoms (aura) that come
before the headache (tunnel vision, spots, partial loss of vision, etc). Other associated
symptoms can include sensitivity to light and sound, and possible GI disturbance in the form
of nausea/ vomiting. The exact cause is unknown but thought to be due to temporary
changes in chemicals, neural structures, and blood vessels. Approximately half of all patients
who experience migraines have a close relative who also experiences migraines. Some
individuals have been able to identify specific triggers such as stress, tiredness, certain foods
or drinks and menstruation. Treatments available include pain relief such as paracetamol
and NSAIDS, Triptans (these work by reversing the changes in your brain that cause
migraines), and anti – emetics (these work to prevent or treat nausea and/or vomiting).

Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches can be described as a sharp, piercing or burning pain, often felt around
the eye or temple. These start quickly with no warning, and attacks can last between 15
minutes to 3 hours, typically occurring 1 to 8 times a day. The exact cause is unknown but
has been linked to activity in the hypothalamus. Some patients can identify triggers, such as
strong smells (perfume, paint or petrol). Individuals often have other family members that
suffer. Treatment options include Sumatriptan injections, Sumatriptan or Zolmitriptan nasal
spray, oxygen therapy, and avoiding known triggers.

Tension headaches

Tension headaches can be described as a constant dull ache on both sides of the head, often
experienced with pressure behind the eyes and tension behind the neck. Causes can include
stress and anxiety, squinting, occupation, poor posture, tiredness, dehydration and a lack of
physical activity. Treatments available include relaxation techniques (yoga, massages and
exercise), prevention techniques (keeping hydrated and getting enough sleep), pain relief
and ice or heat therapy.

Symptoms/ characteristics to be cautious of
– First, worst, abrupt
– Onset age >50
– In the setting of a major medical illness (cancer, HIV)
– Progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
– Vision or balance disturbance
– Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
– Difficulty using fine motor skills
– Seizure(s)
– Worse in the morning or with valsalva/ sexual intercourse
– Nausea/ vomiting/ drowsiness
– Mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality
– Spontaneously awakens from sleep
– Progressive headache
– Altered consciousness or confusion
– Neck stiffness accompanied by fever, sensitivity to light and a new onset rash
– Rapid breathing
– Trauma or neurosurgery

In the event of these symptoms, please speak with your doctor first/ seek urgent medical

For more information or to book an appointment, please call us on 01788 560646 or visit us
at rugbyosteopaths.co.uk.

Thank you.

Reasons you should be having regular Sports Massage

Reduce Tensions, Stiffness, or pain

Deep Tissue Massage helps to combat tension and stiffness by warming and stretching muscle tissues. This increases blood flow and helps the muscles to move more easily and flexibly.

General well-being

Massage has further benefits to general well-being. These include increasing muscle blood flow, lymph flow, and also the removal of toxins from the muscles. Furthermore, massage can promote a positive sense of well-being, relaxation, lowered stress levels, and improves sleep patterns.

Injury Prevention

Blood flow in increased during a sports massage to help increase healing and recovery. An increase in blood flow also provides more oxygen and nutrients for muscles to use in order to maintain their health. Maintaining a muscles health helps to prevent injury as the muscles are less likely to weaken and fatigue.

Pre or Post-event

A pre-event massage can form part of the vitally important warm-up prior to physical exertion. Post-event sports massage is also a type of massage that uses general sports massage techniques but in way, which allows the body to recover from physical activity, which is why it can form part of a successful cooldown.


Who can benefit from Sports Massage?

Sports massage isn’t just for athletes. Sports massage techniques are suitable for both sports people and non-athletes alike and can help with injuries, chronic pain, muscle aches and restricted range of motion in all of us! It can help be an effective therapy for releasing muscle tension and restoring balance to the musculoskeletal system, optimizing flexibility and maintaining a healthier physical state.


How often should I have Sports Massage?

Receiving sports massage once every week should produce huge benefits. This may not be realistic for some athletes, yet less regular massage (every 4/6 weeks) can still bring about great results. Things to consider when deciding massage schedule should be Training Intensity/frequency, Goals and Budget.


Can Sports massage help an injury?

Sports massage is an excellent way to encourage fast recovery and assist in injury prevention. However, if you have sustained an injury that is preventing you from participating in the sport that you love, or you are struggling to perform at your best due to a series of niggles, we would recommend that you book an appointment for a Sports Therapy assessment and treatment which can address problems in more detail.


Tinnitus Awareness Week

This week is Tinnitus Awareness Week (7th-13th Feb 2022).

According to the British Tinnitus Association, Tinnitus is the sensation of sound in the absence of an
external source. The sound may be a ringing, whistling, or rushing sound, or it may be more complex
like machinery or the twittering of birds. Although the sound may not be present all the time, when
it is noticeable it tends to be a steady noise with no frequent or regular changes in its loudness.

The experience of tinnitus is different for different people. Most people find that they are able to
continue their normal day-to-day activities. However, a small percentage of people with tinnitus
report it as severely impacting their quality of life.

Tinnitus is very common and is reported in all age groups, even young children. About 30% of people
will experience tinnitus at some point in their lives but the number of people who live with
persistent tinnitus is approximately 13% (over 1 in 8). Tinnitus is more common in people who have
hearing loss or other ear problems, but it can also be found in people with normal hearing.

The first person to talk to is your GP. You may need to be referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)
Surgeon or an Audiovestibular Physician, who will investigate any potential underlying medical
factors, assess your hearing and probably give you some information about what tinnitus is and how
best to manage it. Some hospitals have hearing therapists or specially trained audiologists who are
available to offer more support if you need it. If you are referred to a specialist tinnitus clinic, and
your tinnitus is particularly troublesome, you will be introduced to more formal or structured ways
of managing tinnitus. Most centres use a combination of approaches, often including Tinnitus
Retraining Therapy (TRT), Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Additionally, there is evidence to support manual therapy for tinnitus that may be related to neck or
jaw conditions. A recent clinical trial investigating the effects of cervico-mandibular manual therapy
in patients with temporomandibular pain disorders (TMD)s and associated somatic tinnitus
concluded that application of cervico-mandibular manual therapies in combination with exercise and
education resulted in better outcomes than application of exercise/education alone in individuals
with tinnitus attributed to TMD.

Please also see a review from one of our patients below:

“After years of living with permanent tinnitus, I found Stephanie who has been absolutely fantastic
in treating the condition through neck and shoulder manipulations and exercises. In just a few
treatments, the tinnitus has reduced hugely and I now have many days of blissful silence. Stephanie
has been absolutely remarkable. She understands the condition, spent time researching it and has
managed to turn this around very effectively. The practice is welcoming, very safe and comfortable
and I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking treatment and improved wellbeing.”

For more information or to book appointment, please call us on 01788 560646 or visit us at

Thank you

Working from Home?

Did you know, roughly 80% of people in the UK are at risk of harming their body due to working in a sedentary state for prolonged periods of time?And now with so many people working from home it is important to look after our health and prevent any injuries from arising. The first way to help this is trying to fix our working posture. Here are some useful tips on how to achieve that.