Headache Treatment

Have you put up with your pain long enough?

​Our experienced physiotherapists can help you and we have been successful treating this problem both in-clinic and online..


Headaches are among the most common forms of pain people suffer from; it is estimated that 96% of people will have experienced a headache at some point in their lives(5). While the majority of headaches are not signs of a serious underlying issue(10) and will typically go away on their own, there still remains many people who suffer from lasting, recurrent, or chronic headaches that require specific treatments in order to achieve pain relief.

Tension-type headaches and migraine headaches are the two most common types of headaches. Though they tend to present with contrasting signs and symptoms(1,2,3,7,8), correctly diagnosing either can still pose a challenge for health-care professionals:


  • Mild-moderate intensity of pain
  • Pain described as pressure/tightness
  • Pain more often bilateral
  • Typically not aggravated by exercise


  • Moderate-severe intensity of pain
  • Can be triggered by specific noises, lights, smells
  • Pain described as pulsing/throbbing
  • Pain more often one-sided
  • Exercise can worsen pain or be a trigger
  • Episodes lasting from 4-72 hours
  • Presence of nausea or vomiting
headache physio


It is estimated that a person suffering from headaches is four times more likely to present with a tension-type headache than a migraine headache(4,5). Neck and jaw problems frequently play a role in causing headaches, and physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for these issues. Postural and positional components (in sitting/lying/standing) can also play a significant role in the development of headaches or in their severity.


Physiotherapy is the most common form of non-pharmacological treatment for tension-type headaches and has been shown to help reduce pain(12,13). There is also some-evidence that physiotherapy can help manage chronic migraines(9). 

Physiotherapists work to identify which of the previously mentioned factors may be triggering or aggravating your headaches. Our team is well-equipped using the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) to assess and treat any joint and/or muscular issues that can contribute to your headaches, using a patient-focused active therapy approach. Causes and/or side-effects of headaches including a stiff/painful neck or jaw, issues of postural control, dizziness/vestibular symptoms (among others) are to be taken into consideration when developing an individualized treatment plan for helping you manage your headaches(9,13). 

Pain medication can help alleviate symptoms for either type but does not necessarily address the underlying issue(s) causing the headache. Specific medications exist and are available for treating migraines; however, one medication will not necessarily work for every person(5). A family doctor would likely be able to provide you with more information regarding medications for migraines.

Treatment Options

Orthopedic/McKenzie Physiotherapy In clinic in Montreal

Web McKenzie/Orthopedic Physiotherapy Online everywhere in Quebec

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136015/ 
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23163496/ 
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24712282/ 
  4. https://www.cfp.ca/content/cfp/61/8/670.full.pdf 
  5. https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(17)30932-4/fulltext 
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1124385/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2676687/ 
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7351966/ 
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4897548/ 
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK562274/ 
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3444224/ 
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4316547/ 
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