top of page

Spinal Health Week: it’s time to handle your headaches

Everyone at some stage of their life has had a headache. It’s a very common problem, with a multitude of causes, including tension in your neck, clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, stress, dehydration and plenty more.

This Spinal Health Week, 22nd -28th of May, we’re focusing on headache treatment and prevention. If you’re wondering how headaches are related to spinal health, read on, because there could be more to your headaches than you think.

Types of headaches

There are different types of headaches, with different causes and different types of pain. Some of the more common types include:

Tension headaches

One of the most common forms of headache, tension headaches are caused by things like stress, dehydration, or eye strain. As our lives get busier and we spend longer looking at screens, tension headaches are a problem for more and more people.

Tension headaches usually cause pain on both sides of the head and can last as little as 30 minutes, or as long as a week.

Cervicogenic headaches

Cervicogenic headaches are caused by neck or spine problems, including injury, strain, or osteoarthritis. Usually, you’ll feel both pain in your head and a stiff neck.

This is a rare, chronic form of headache, which accounts for 1-4% of headaches, often in people aged 30-44 years (Cervicogenic Headache 2023). You may start suffering cervicogenic headaches in your 30s, even if you haven’t had them before.


The dreaded migraine affects 4.9 million people in Australia, 71% of which are women. Around 7.6% of those people suffer chronic migraines (Migraine in Australia whitepaper 2018).

Usually, a migraine begins with dull pain, which develops into throbbing, pulsating pain in the temples, front or back of your head. A migraine is often also accompanied by symptoms such as light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting.

How to treat your headaches

There are many methods of treating headaches and the right choice will depend on what works for you personally. Many of us reach for over-the-counter pain relief straight away, but if you’re looking for other ways to help treat your headaches — and prevent them from happening again — here are a few ideas.

  1. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause headaches, so keeping up your water intake throughout the day is one way of fending off pain. It’s also a healthy habit in general!

  2. Get good rest. Sleep is vital for many of our bodily functions, as well as our physical and mental wellbeing. If you’ve had a restless night or if you’re regularly missing out on sleep, it can lead to headaches, or make them worse. Try to get an adequate amount of sleep and practice good sleep hygiene.

  3. Find ways to de-stress. We all live busy lives and stress often comes along with that. Stress, especially long-term stress, can cause headaches and other physical symptoms. Find ways to relax and unwind, whether that’s exercise, meditation, massage or larger lifestyle changes, like a career switch.

  4. See a chiropractor. Studies have shown that some people enjoy significant improvement in their migraine or headache pain after just two months of chiropractic care. The results suggest that chiropractic care can have a positive effect on the physical symptoms of stress, including migraines (A randomized controlled trial… 2000).

At Realign Health, our chiropractors use a variety of treatments, including dry needling, manual adjustments, low force instrument adjusting and rehabilitative exercises to help reduce and manage your headache pain.

Ready to handle your headache pain this Spinal Health Week? Book an appointment with our friendly team to see how we can help.


Deloitte, ‘Migraine in Australia Whitepaper’, 2018

Al Khalili Y, Ly N, Murphy PB., Cervicogenic Headache, StatPearls Publishing, National Library of Melbourne, 2023

Peter J. Tuchin, Henry Pollard, Rod Bonello, A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 2000


bottom of page