Four Different Types of Headaches And What You Can Do To Treat Them

Four different types of headaches and what you can do to treat them

Headaches are one of the most common health complaints in the world. There are many different kinds of headaches and treatments, and you don’t need to let a headache dominate your day. Read our comprehensive guide to different kinds of headaches and how to treat them.


1. Migraine Headaches


Often migraines occur unilaterally (on one side of the head). The pain is throbbing and pulsing and worsens if you attempt to move around. Sometimes migraines are associated with vomiting and high sensitivity to light, smells and sounds. This moderate to severe headache can sometimes last for up to 3 days.

Migraines are triggered for many reasons:

  • Women experience more migraines than men. That’s because they are linked to fluctuations of the hormone oestrogen in the body. For this reason, migraines often happen before or during a period, during pregnancy and menopause. Also medications that regulate oestrogen like oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy may worsen migraines.
  • Certain food and drinks are known triggers. For example salty, processed foods, cheese, foods containing MSG, coffee and alcohol.
  • Some people get migraines from being exposed to sunlight, loud noise, strong smells, smoke and other environmental triggers.
  • Changes to your sleeping patterns and jetlag can also bring on a migraine, along with physical exertion.

How to minimise a migraine

  • Avoid certain food, drink or environmental stimuli that has triggered a migraine in the past.
  • Avoid using medications that have known side-effects of causing migraines
  • Dedicate time to relaxation, and ensure you get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet.
  • Apply a cold or hot compress to your head and lay down in a darkened room.



2. Sinus Headache


Sinus headaches can be brought on by allergies, a virus or bacterial infection of the ears, nose or throat. The pain from this headache is normally located behind the eyes, across the cheeks and bridge of the nose, along the forehead, or along the top teeth. The pain is unpleasant and could be described as a dull pressure within the skull. Sudden movements or exercise can make the pain feel worse.

How to minimise a sinus headache

  • Steam: Dry air can cause pressure in the head and throbbing pain. So take a hot shower and breathe in the air.
  • Saline flush or nasal sprays: These hydrate dry and sore nasal cavities and sinuses.  
  • Get a good night’s sleep.  
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol.
  • Drink water: Being dehydrated can contribute to a sinus headache, so drink more water.
  • Try gentle exercise like yoga.

Source: Healthline



3. Tension headache


Tension headaches are experienced as a vice-like sensation of pressure in the skull. The pain of this can be mild to moderate and generally isn’t as intense as a migraine. There isn’t any associated pulsing or throbbing. Unlike with migraines, there is no associated nausea, vomiting and increase in pain associated with movement of the body.

How to minimise a tension headache

Physiotherapy from Maroubra Road Physiotherapy can be highly effective in treating tension headaches. Muscle tension in the neck and head may be causing your headache. The team at Maroubra Road Physio will be able to help you in several ways.

  • Sore neck: We can help with gentle joint mobilisation and massage techniques, taping and dry needling.
  • Tight and overactive muscles: We can provide help with stretching advice, massage and other soft tissue release  techniques.
  • Posture correction: We can also provide guidance on posture awareness, along with advice on neck dysfunction and postures to avoid.


4. Cluster headache: 


Typically a cluster headache occurs on one-side of the head. However the affected side may change from headache to headache. The pain of a cluster headache is unmistakeable. It’s an extremely severe stabbing and piercing pain. This is relatively short-lived and lasts between 10 minutes to 3 hours and then subsides. However, the headache can recur several times over the course of a day or week.


How to minimise a cluster headache

The Migraine Trust recommend a number of preventative treatments on their website. Discuss these options with your doctor.   


See a doctor about these kinds of headaches:

Diagnosing and treating a headache is not an exact science. The exact reasons for a headache vary extensively. However most headaches are not life-threatening and resolve themselves by having adequate rest, looking after yourself and taking mild painkillers.

Although rare, a headache may be associated with a more serious medical condition. If you do have a headache that is associated with the following, it may indicate something more serious is going on. You should be seen by your doctor.

  • A severe thunderclap type of headache.  
  • Symptoms of a neurological condition: Motor weakness, memory loss, confusion and behavioural changes.  
  • A headache associated with the symptoms of meningococcal infection: a stiff neck, fever, nausea, aching muscles, lack of appetite.
  • Severe and sudden weight loss, nausea and fever.
  • A headache that has arisen out of a blunt force trauma to the head or body, e.g. a car accident or fall.


Maroubra Road Physiotherapy will be able to advise you on viable treatment options for certain kinds of headaches. In the case where the cause of your headache can’t be treated by physiotherapy, the team will direct you towards other specialists who may be able to help with diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Headaches shouldn’t be endured for the long-term and Maroubra Road Physiotherapy are always here to help. Book an appointment today!

7 Things Parents Can Do About Kids And Sports Injuries

Kids And Sporting Injuries – 7 Things Parents Can Do

Exploring and experimenting with different sports can create fantastic memories for children. It helps them to burn off their exuberant physical energy, as well as gain confidence and social skills.

Nevertheless, there is a worrying increase in the number of serious injuries sustained by children playing sport. Medicare data cited in an ABC article showed that number of kids undergoing Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstructions has tripled over the past 15 years. Many of these ACL injuries in children arose out of them playing high risk sports like netball, Australian rules football and soccer.

Being a parent is challenging at the best of times. On the one hand you want to swaddle them in cotton wool, and on the other hand you also want to give them free rein to explore their physical capabilities. As a parent, the best way to do this is to empower yourself with knowledge.

The top ten

Just for your reference, here are the most high risks sports in Australia for sporting injuries, ranked from highest (1) to lower (10).

  1. Australian rules football
  2. Soccer
  3. Cycling
  4. Wheeled motor sports
  5. Rugby
  6. Water sports
  7. Roller sports
  8. Equestrian activities
  9. Basketball
  10. Netball

Source: The Guardian

  1. Try many sports, not just one

While children are still growing, they are developing motor skills in many different ways. By focusing on one particular activity too early in their lives, your children could develop injuries that relate to repetitive stress and overuse of particular muscle groups.

Instead, get them to try a broad variety of physical activities like dance, performance theatre, different types of sports and more gentle, calming exercises like yoga for strengthening and balancing their growing bodies. Over time, they will develop a preference for a particular sport and want to continue this into their teens. To ensure they don’t burn out and to help prevent injury, give them at least three months off this sport per year.

  1. Downtime and recovery is important

People of all ages and stages of life will injure themselves when they don’t eat right, stay hydrated or get enough sleep. Even though sport and physical exercise is a key part of a healthy life, so too is recovering and resting.

If your sporty kids want to spend the entire weekend at a netball or football tournament, then make sure they get a hearty and nutritious lunch, plenty of water and plenty of sleep the night before.

  1. Warming up is key

Starting a sporting activity without warming up is a recipe for disaster at any age. Before they hit the pitch or the court, make sure your children do at least 10-15 minutes of dynamic warm-ups. YouTube has countless great warm-up videos which are a great place to get inspiration.

  1. Are we having fun yet?

Ensure that your child is enjoying the sport in question. Each week if they drag their feet and look all mopey at the prospect of going to football or netball training, then question them about why. In order for them to get the benefit of the sport, they need to enjoy it and want to continue, otherwise it’s just a chore.

  1. Choose a bike helmet that meets Australian safety standards

If your child’s chosen sport is BMX racing, skateboarding or cycling then ensure they have the right protective gear. In Australia, all bike riders are legally required to wear a helmet. Although there is no law for skateboarding and rollerblading, it’s still a good idea. That’s because research shows that wearing a helmet can lower the risk of head injury by 69% and brain injury by up to 74%. When you buy a helmet for your child or yourself, ensure that it meets the Australian Safety Standards (AS/NZS2063) and that it is right size and fit. If you buy one online, it may not meet the Australian safety standard.

  1. Tread carefully with equestrian sports  

Horses are beautiful there’s no doubt about that. But My Little Pony and your daughter’s dreams aside, you should consider that there are many risks and variables to equestrian sports. That means you should plan wisely for this sport and choose an experienced horse trainer and a horse with a calm temperament. Ensure that your child has access to high quality gear and that your child gets adequate training on riding before jumping in the saddle. There is a lot to consider. Although horse-riding can become a life-long passion. Speak to any horsey person and they will tell you that it’s worth it.

  1. Choose the right mouthguard

In one Queensland study, over 50% of young rugby players had sustained an injury to the face or teeth while playing sport. It’s really important to use a mouthguard when playing sports like rugby, Aussie rules, soccer and boxing. This is because a custom-fitted mouthguard will absorb the impact of a blow to the face more evenly and reduce the risk of injury to the mouth or jaw. The Australian Dental Association says that self-fitted, boil and bite mouthguards don’t provide adequate protection. So you’re better off getting a custom-made mouthguard that’s designed to fit in your child’s mouth more comfortably.

Maroubra Road Physiotherapy strives to keep everyone in Maroubra healthy, active and moving. The best medicine is preventative and educational. So make sure you like, share and subscribe to this blog to stay in the know about the best ways to look after your and your family’s health. Book an appointment today!

Introducing the Maroubra Road Physiotherapy | Snap Fitness Partnership

Introducing the Maroubra Road Physiotherapy | Snap Fitness Partnership

We are excited to announce the partnership between Maroubra Road Physiotherapy and Snap Fitness Maroubra, starting 4th June 2018.

Maroubra Physio & Snap Fitness

  • The partnership between Snap Fitness Maroubra and Maroubra Road Physiotherapy will offer Snap Fitness Maroubra members special rates for initial and ongoing treatments. All you need to do is present your Snap Fitness card at the practice.
  • Our Physiotherapistss will also be working with the Snap Fitness personal trainers to share knowledge, education and support overall wellness and injury prevention for everyone.


If you would like more information about the partnership, please call Maroubra Road Physiotherapy on (02) 9314-3888 or to start a Snap Fitness membership @ the Maroubra gym, please visit:

Calf Stretching – Advice from our Physiotherapists

Two calf stretches to prevent injury

Why should you stretch your calves?

Stretching your calves is important because it has a domino effect on your body. Tight calves can lead to decreased arches in your feet which may cause plantar fascia pain (on the sole of the foot), tendinopathies or stress fractures from muscle imbalances and overuse. Tight calves can also be implicated in muscle tears, Achilles pain, knee pain and even hip and back issues. Ideally calves need to be longer and stronger to do their job in shock absorption and generating power.




There are two main muscles in the calf: the gastrocnemius (aka “gastroc”) and soleus muscles. The gastroc is a two joint muscle meaning it crosses the knee and ankle joints. The purpose of the gastroc is to bend the knee and push the foot off the ground during walking or running. The gastroc attaches to the heel via the Achilles tendon.

The soleus muscle is a single joint muscle as it only crosses the ankle joint. It is responsible for pushing the foot off the ground while walking/running and it is effective in pumping blood back to the heart because of it’s position and design. It also joins with the Achilles tendon.


How to tell if you have tight calves and how to stretch them:

When you dorsiflex your ankle (bring your toes to your nose) the normal range of movement is between 0 to 20 degrees. Running and jumping requires flexibility in the higher end of this range.


Gastroc Stretch

  1. Standing in front of a wall, step forward and place your hands on the wall
  2. Keep the back leg STRAIGHT, heal on floor and toes pointed forward
  3. Lean forward slightly until you feel a gentlepull/stretch on the back of the leg
  4. Hold 30 seconds minimum and repeat 2-3x


Soleus stretch


  1. Stand in front of a wall, step forward and place your hands on the wall
  2. Keep the back leg BENT, heal on floor and toes pointed forward
  3. Lean forward slightly until you feel a gentlepull/stretch on the back of the leg
  4. Hold 30 seconds minimum and repeat 2-3x



When is the best time to stretch?

Generally, the best time to stretch is after you have warmed up your body or after activity. 

When not to stretch your calves

If you have recently sustained a calf tear or Achilles strain, do not stretch your calf without advice from your physiotherapist or doctor first. Do not stretch your calves if there is pain or an increase in pain after stretching.

Introducing Balance & Conditioning Classes

In May 2018, Maroubra Road Physiotherapy are starting a dynamic balance program focused on strength, power, and high level balance for those of you who want to improve your overall function.

About the Program:

The program is for any age level and is designed to progressively develop the components needed for control of movement. The benefits of good balance are not only to avoid falls, but more importantly to improve hip and pelvic control when most of your weight is on one leg (such as during walking, running or climbing stairs). The “use it or lose it” principal applies well to balance and research has shown that high level balance training is effective.

Professional Guidance and Support:

Our classes will be taught by one of our physiotherapists – Sharon Penner – who has worked extensively in active rehabilitation and sports conditioning. To get the best results out of the program we have incorporated a 30 minute private assessment to look at previous/existing injuries and current fitness levels. This exercise program can be claimed through most health funds. See below for further details:

When will the classes be held? 

Tuesday 2:30pm or Friday 11am

for 5 weeks starting May 8, 2018

How much will it cost?

  • $180 for the full program which covers:
    • $80 for a private 30 minute screening assessment where we consider your current fitness level, goals and pre-existing conditions PLUS one free trial class
    • $100 for the 4 remaining sessions

The classes may be eligible for private health insurance rebate. Please check with your private health insurance provider to see if your fund can cover the cost

Where will the classes be?

Maroubra Road Physiotherapy

Shop 4-5, 16 Maroubra Road, Maroubra, NSW 2035 

Who should attend?

Anyone is welcome and spots are limited!! Contact us now at

(02) 9314 3888 for more information and to register your interest

Maroubra Road Physiotherapy Awarded Accreditation by Quality Innovation Performance (QIP)

Maroubra Road Physiotherapy Top Quality Physiotherapy Practice

Maroubra Road Physiotherapy has been recognised for the quality and safety of their service with the award of accreditation by Quality Innovation Performance (QIP). QIP is Australia’s most comprehensive not-for-profit accreditation organisation, dedicated to delivering accreditation and support services to a diverse range of organisations including physiotherapy practices, diagnostic imaging services, dental practices and community services.

“Accreditation is a major achievement and a clear demonstration that Maroubra Road Physiotherapy is committed to providing Maroubra and surrounding suburbs with access to high quality health services,” Mr Gary Smith, Chair of QIP, said today.

“Striving to continually improve how you support your patients to get the best health outcomes should be commended, and QIP congratulates Maroubra Road Physiotherapy on reaching this benchmark”, he said.

QIP accreditation is based on national standards that are set by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA).  The APA is the peak body representing the interests of Australian physiotherapists and their patients. To achieve an endorsement of accreditation, Maroubra Road Physiotherapy has demonstrated that they meet all requirements of the APA Standards. Aylene Fine and Nicole McLellan  said accreditation was attained through cooperation, commitment and communication amongst staff members. “Everyone in the practice played a valuable role in ensuring we met the Standards.  The recognition of working in an accredited practice gives our dedicated staff a feeling of accomplishment and pride.

Maroubra Road Physiotherapy is proud to display the QIP accredited symbol at our practice.

“We want to communicate to our clients that their well-being is our priority. QIP accreditation shows we are committed to providing quality care based on professional Standards,” said Aylene Fine and Nicole McLellan .

Maroubra Road Physiotherapy, located at Shop 4 and 5, 16 Maroubra Road offers a range of physiotherapy services including Manual Therapy techniques, including soft tissue release techniques and joint mobilisations, dry needling, exercise prescriptions, education regarding posture and ergonomics.


Contact: Maroubra Road Physiotherapy on 9314 3888

For further information on QIP, please visit phone 1300 888 329.


Do you sit at work all day? Is it better to stand or sit?

Have you recently acquired a sit-to-stand desk? Is it better to stand or sit?

Current research has shown that sitting all day is unhealthy for you. Many health and wellness blogs are quoting that sitting is the “new” smoking. In the last 10 years, research has shown that if you sit all day, this can lead to heart related problems, type 2 Diabetes and numerous chronic issues related to obesity. Many believe that exercise before or after work will reverse the effects of sitting all day. Unfortunately, it has been shown that you can’t make up for the negative effects of prolonged sitting over the work day by only exercising after work.

With all this research, there has been an intense focus on ergonomics, which has seen an increase in sit-to-stand desks in the workplace, where workers are spending more time standing at their desks.

So, if you have a sit-to-stand desk and you stand all day, is this solving the problem? It is addressing the issues that are linked to sitting but the reality is that standing all day can also lead to fatigue and cardiovascular problems. You may also find that you still suffer from low back pain, leg and foot pain, especially if standing in the incorrect posture, so all you are doing is shifting the part of your body that you are loading.

So, what it the solution?

The answer is in fact MOVEMENT.

Regular movement is the key to promoting good health. This can be achieved by moving regularly. The common response is that there are not enough hours in the day and moving is disruptive to your flow of work. The truth is that you don’t have to stop working for very long. The key is to move more, more often.

Next Steps

If you need help, you can make an appointment with one of our physiotherapists to prescribe a sit-stand programme to suit your needs or they can create a short pause exercise program for you. You can also use a pedometer during the day to track your steps, set your alarm on your phone or your smartwatch to remind you to move.

Stress – A Few Simple Tips to Help You Live a Healthier Life

Stress – A Few Simple Tips to Help You Live a Healthier Life

Life can often be overwhelming, demanding, and downright chaotic – and that’s just the good days!

Sometimes big events like moving house, starting a new job or an illness cause a major disruption in our lives. Other times it can be a multitude of little stresses that can make us feel anxious and dazed.  Little stresses such as your boss asking you to finish three reports by noon, your 6-year-old screaming for the newest fidget spinner, or dealing with a niggling back ache for days can accumulate and disrupt our mental and physical flow. So it’s important to try find ways to manage life’s stresses.

Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Relaxation techniques:

  • Take a deep breath through your nose (Count to 3), hold 1 second, and gently exhale through your mouth. Repeat 5 times. There are some great mobile apps such as Smiling Mind, Headspace & Calm, which can help you get into a great routine.

Eating a healthy and well balanced diet:

  • Small dietary changes can make a big impact on your body composition and mood!

Spend time with family and friends:

  • Research shows that quality time with friends and family help increase serotonin levels (happy hormones) and decrease cortisol (your stress hormone).


  • Take 5 minutes everyday to find a peaceful, private and quiet area. Practice focusing on your breathing and zone out any outside disturbances!

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule:

  • We often have hundreds of different tasks we need to accomplish by the end of the day and take sleep for granted.
  • Research shows adults need a full 7-8 hours of sleep to function optimally!

Regular Exercise routine:

  • A regular and consistent exercise routine is one of the best ways to de-stress. Even a 20 – 30 minute walk everyday can be a great way to get started. Or read our blog on how to get started here

Incorporating a few of these steps into our daily lives can have a profoundly positive effect on our overall health and wellbeing! Let’s get started today!

Have You Considered What Your Mobile Phone Usage Is Doing To Your Posture?

Insights from our Maroubra Physio team:

Next time you take a bus trip to work or you are waiting to see the doctor, look around you. Most people will be using their phones; checking e-mail, reading the news, using the internet and playing games. The common posture one would adopt would be hunched over, hands down, neck bent forward and shoulders rounded. This posture puts an enormous load on your neck and upper back causing them to ache and fatigue. These poor postures can lead to pain, muscle spasm, joint stiffness and weakness. Sitting up straight will seem like an effort once you have adapted to these postures.

We see many patients that have neck and back pain and while using their phones might not be the primary cause, it is often a contributing factor.

Here are a few ideas to improve your posture while using your phone.

Sit back. Ensure that your lower back is touching and supported by the back of the chair. Raise your chest so that it is not hunched forward.

Bring your arms up so that you can keep your neck straight rather than looking down. To support your arms, tuck your daypack or workbag under your elbows or use one arm to support the other by hugging your waist and rest your elbow on it. This will support your arms and shoulders better and allow you to look forward while looking at your phone rather than looking down.

If you are standing, stand with your feet apart, raise your chest and elbows. Bring your phone closer to eye level rather than looking down.

Take a break every 10 minutes.

Give this a try and see if you feel less achy by the time you get home after a long day at work. You could consult one of our physiotherapists if you need more input or if you need manual therapy to release those sore muscles or even some exercise advice to strengthen weak postural muscles.


14th August 2017

A new opportunity has become available for a passionate, hands on physiotherapist to join our friendly and supportive team on a full time basis. The scope of the role involves providing Physiotherapy treatment to our patients in a brand new, purpose built private practice facility located on Maroubra Road in Maroubra. We see a wide variety of private patients, workers compensation, EPC and DVA.

We offer continuing education through subsidised courses and regular in service training sessions with the practice owners.

What we are looking for:

  • Full registration with AHPRA
  • Good communication skills
  • Excellent Team player
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • 2+ years experience in private practice preferable

If you think that you fit the above criteria, we would love to hear from you! Please email your CV, together with a cover letter to