Know More About Headaches

with Ziad Rahbani - 2016-01-05

"I like to pretend that headaches are memories fighting each other."

- Rachel Wolchin -

Headache is the most common form of pain and the number one disease for seeing a physician or missing a school/work day. It is very common and affects nine out of ten adults in their lifetime. Severe enough, and without proper treatment, it can progress and interfere with daily life activities.

Headaches have multiple types; the most common one is tension-type headache which is caused by an association of stress and mental conflict with contracting muscles in the neck, face, scalp and jaw. This headache is usually mild to moderate with a feeling of constant pressure being applied to the front of the face or head of neck, as it may be felt on both sides of the head. In its typical representation, tension-type headache will disappear once the stress or the contraction has ended.


To be evaluated for the appropriate type of headache, always ask your family doctor to assess and treat the pain, and as for the one caused by head and neck muscle problems, you should check with your physical therapist.

The first step in treating tension-type headache is to treat any specific disorder or problem causing this pain, such as neck joints disorders, jaw problems, sleep pattern abnormalities. These disorders are best treated by your physical therapist that is trained to assess and treat any kind of mechanical disease.

If the pain is not due to physical problems, your physician may suggest using analgesics, or antidepressants. Alternative ways for medication can be by relaxation techniques, meditation and cognitive-behavioral therapy to reduce stress, massage, and gentle exercises for the neck.

Ziad Rahbani
Physical Therapy student, Public Health Department