Headaches #physiotalk 12th Nov 8.30pm

Headache is an area that causes many of us concern. This tweetchat is being hosted by @AnneMarieLogan2 on Monday 12th November at 8.30pm GMT. Anne-Marie has just had an article in Frontline covering many aspects of headache and physiotherapy – so make sure you read this before taking part in the chat!

Patients with headache are often highly disabled but many lack a clear diagnosis and management plan. We often worry about the differential diagnoses of headache conditions but have little teaching in our undergraduate or postgraduate education on headache.



Physiotherapists are most commonly known as specialists in treating Cervicogenic headache (CGH) but often the patients we are referred do not meet the International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria for CGH. It is likely that many of those patients have undiagnosed migraine that that may not have been well managed previously. This highly disabling condition has specific evidence based treatment that needs identifying and strategies put in place. It is important that we can differentiate headache types and alert the patient’s GP when appropriate.


Aims of discussion

  • To broaden our understanding of primary and secondary headache conditions
  • To discuss the use of specific questions in the headache history in order to differentiate between headache types
  • To understand the range of therapies that are important in headache treatment

Questions to consider

  • What are the common headache types physios should be familiar with?
  • How can I tell if the patient has migraine?
  • What questions are important in the headache history to differentiate Cervicogenic headache from Migraine?
  • What is Medication Overuse Headache?
  • Should headache be part of the conditions seen in first contact practitioner services?
  • What are the red flag features that would cause you to worry about a patient presenting with headache?

Chat resources


Headaches in over 12’s: Diagnosis and management

British Association for the Study of Headache. Guidelines for All Healthcare Professionals in the Diagnosis and Management of Migraine, Tension-Type, Cluster and Medication-Overuse Headache

International Headache Society Guidelines

Educational videos about headache

Problem-specific video guides to diagnosing patients and helping them with management and prevention

International consensus on the most useful physical examination tests used by physiotherapists for patients with headache: A Delphi study

Cochrane reviews of headache treatment

Manipulation and mobilisation for neck pain contrasted against an inactive control or another active treatment

Acupuncture for the prevention of tension‐type headache

Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine

Missed the chat? Don’t worry! Here’s the transcript

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