This month’s walking the talk comes courtesy of Jorgen Forsberg from Select Physio Health & Wellness Clinic.

Talking  Headaches

Headache is one of the most common health-related conditions in Australia, with around 15 per cent of us taking pain-relieving medication for a headache at any given time.

Most headaches have more than one contributing factor. Some of the more common triggers for headache are lifestyle related, such as poor diet, stress, muscle tension, and lack of exercise.

Serious underlying disorders, such as brain tumours, are rarely the cause of headache, although persistent headache should always be investigated by a doctor.

Headache can be classified into two broad categories: primary and secondary.

Examples of primary headache include cluster and tension headaches.

Secondary headaches are triggered by an underlying disorder – such as infection, injury or a tumour – and are a side effect of the main illness.

Pain receptors and headache

You feel pain when various structures of your head are inflamed or irritated. These structures include:

·         the muscles and skin of the head

·         the nerves of the head and neck

·         the arteries leading to the brain

·         the membranes of the ear, nose and throat

·         the sinuses, which are air-filled cavities inside the head that form part of the respiratory system.

The sensation of pain can also be ‘referred’, which means that pain occurring in one area can transmit the feeling of pain to an area nearby. An example is the referred pain of a headache arising from a sore neck.


Dry needling and acupuncture can be very effective for many types of headaches.

Below is a RCT for tension head ache indicating significant improvement with DN 3 times per week for 2 weeks.

 RCT for tension head ache

Single case study Occipital neuralgia