Ever wondered why you get headaches? If you are among the population that experience headaches, I am sure this question has crossed your mind.  And they are very common. It is ranked as the third most disabling condition in people younger than 50 years old.


There are different types of headaches which an experienced physiotherapist with an interest in headaches can help to diagnose and formulate the most effective management plan for you, using many skills in our toolbox to help to reduce the frequency of medication required, reduce the frequency and intensity of your headache.  For some headaches, physio can be so effective that someone suffering from a daily headache for weeks or months can have the headache “lifted” in one session and with some repeat sessions actually “get rid of the headache”.  For others, a multidisciplinary approach is required.  Tension type headache is the most common headache and is essentially a muscular type of headache.


Headaches are a complex matter involving physical and environmental/social factors and the science behind each type of headache is well researched but too complex for this post.  To help you understand how an experienced physiotherapist can help you, it helps to understand on a basic level that there are many types of headaches and so getting a diagnosis is important and helpful in treating it effectively.


Headaches are classified into 3 main groups:

  • Primary headaches (migraine, tension type, sinus headache, cluster headaches, hormonal headaches)
  • Secondary headaches (including cervicogenic headaches which are effectively managed with physio or more serious headaches that require urgent medical attention. Your physio can conduct a screening for serious pathology).
  • Neuropathies and facial pain.

Differentiating your headache:

Your physio will ask questions about the location of, type of pain, frequency, duration, and intensity of your headache as well as associated symptoms like nausea and visual changes and also ask about any triggers that bring on your headache.  This will help to determine the type of headache you are experiencing.

Nicci Visser has a special interest in treating headaches and would love to help you if you have been struggling with this condition.

Nicci has over 20 years’ of experience treating headaches in a private practice setting. She has done significant additional courses on the study of headaches in her native South Africa, including attending professional development with one of South Africa’s foremost headache physiotherapy experts.

Read more about Nicci Visser’s physiotherapy skills and experience here. Nicci has taken over from Nick Schuster as the senior physiotherapist at Scarborough Physio and Health as Nick steps back to run the business.

You can make an appointment to see Nicci for help with headaches or any of your other physios needs (as Nicci treats all types of pain and injury as an experienced physio) by clicking here or calling us on 0738801649 and asking to book with Nicci.