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What is a tension headache?

Tension headaches are headaches caused by tension in the muscles and joints of your neck and upper back. These headaches usually involve dull pain that wraps around the head. They can also include different patterns of pain in the head and neck, as well as symptoms like dizziness and nausea.

How can your neck and back cause headaches?

Stiffness, weakness, and tension in the neck can result in symptoms being referred to the head. This happens because many of the nerves that carry information from the neck also supply the head. This means you may feel sensations in the head that are actually arising in the neck.   


How can physio help with tension headaches?

First, your physio will help to determine the source of your headache by asking you questions and performing tests. If your symptoms are coming from your neck or back, your physio will help to improve your mobility and strength in these areas. They may use hands-on techniques, dry needling, or manipulation to help with tension. Then your physio will show you the correct exercises and techniques to improve your posture, strength, and mobility.


How long do tension headaches take to go away?

Timeframes can vary depending on your condition and the treatment you engage in. Headaches usually start to improve within 3 weeks of starting physio and can take as long as 8 weeks to fully resolve. 


Find out more about your headaches

If you’d like to meet with one of our physios to discuss your symptoms, you can make an appointment online today