Farryl Roth | Physiotherapist, Johannesburg

Are Headaches Holding You Back?

Farryl Roth, Physiotherapist, Johannesburg

February 24 2020

If you suffer from chronic headaches, you are not alone. The prevalence of headaches in our society is staggering. And it’s no wonder with the fast-paced and often stressful lives we lead. There is a strong link between stress and tension build up with headaches. Often headaches originate from tension in the neck and shoulders but when treating headaches it’s important to diagnose what type of headache you have as this helps in the treatment.

So here are some basic differences between them:


Migraines present as:

– Pulsating, throbbing or pounding head pain

– Pain that worsens with exertion

– Nausea

– Vomiting

– Abdominal pain

– Extreme sensitivity to light and sound

Migraines usually last for a few hours but do not normally go on for more than 24 hours. Migraines are usually quite hard to cure but with the correct treatment, they can be reduced significantly.

Tension-Type Headache

Tension-type headaches can cause:

– A pressing tightness in the muscles of the head or neck

– Mild to moderate, non-pulsating pain on both sides of the head

– Pain that’s not worsened by physical activity

– Headache that’s not accompanied by nausea or vomiting, as is often the case with migraine

These headaches are typical stress or posture-related headaches. Although these headaches can be severe, they are quite easy to treat and cure.

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches present with:

– Occurrence in groups of five or more episodes, ranging from one headache every other day to eight a day or even longer

– Involve sharp, stabbing pain on one side of the head that lasts from 15 minutes to three hours

– Are accompanied by teariness, congestion, runny nose, or restlessness or agitation

​Cluster headaches are also treatable but need to be diagnosed properly.

Chronic Daily Headache

Doctors use the phrase “chronic daily headache” (CDH) for migraine headaches and tension-type headaches that occur more than 15 days a month for more than three months. CDH may be caused by an infection, minor head injury or taking pain medications — even nonprescription pain medications — too often.

I have specialized in the treatment of headaches and chronic pain and have helped many chronic headache patients get better and lead more fulfilled lives.

Give us a call on 011-6809080 if you would like to come in for an assessment.