3 Ways PT Can Help You To Rid Yourself of Headaches
You Can Find Relief for Your Persistent Headaches with Physical Therapy
If you’re suffering from stress-related headaches that are interfering with your everyday life, it’s time to consider physical therapy as a treatment option. Tension headaches, also known as stress headaches, are the most common form of headache that people suffer from.
Tension headaches, while not as severe as migraines are a symptom that everything in the body is “wrong.” Physical therapy will help you figure out what’s behind your tension headaches and get rid of them for good.
Call our clinic today to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy for chronic headache pain, and rest assured you’re in good hands with us!
Common causes of headaches
One of the main causes of stress-related headaches is right there in the name: stress. The headache generally happens when the muscles in the neck or scalp become tense and contract.
Depression and anxiety are similar emotions to stress that can also lead to headaches. In addition, there may be a physical cause behind your stress-related headaches. An accident or injury to the neck or back can contribute to headaches. Poor posture and arthritis are two other potential causes.
How does a physical therapist diagnose chronic headaches?
Your doctor will consult with you to diagnose your headaches before beginning physical therapy sessions. The psychiatrist will need to know about your medical conditions in the past. If you had a hip, spine, or jaw fracture years ago, it’s possible that it’s still causing headaches now. The origin of your pain, such as your ears, back of your neck, or forehead, will also aid in determining the cause.
Your physical therapist will likely run you through some tests as part of the diagnosis phase. For example, your posture will be checked as you engage in several activities. The strength of your muscles and the range of motion in your neck and shoulders will be tested. Your therapist might do some manual therapy to see how mobile your neck joints are.
Once the cause of your stress-related headaches is determined, a customized course of physical therapy treatment can be prescribed for you.
How can a physical therapist help with my headaches?
The ultimate goal of your physical therapy regimen will be to eliminate your stress-related headaches. However, in addition to relief, you will gain additional benefits that will likely improve your overall quality of life:
- Neck tension relief. You will have better range of motion in your neck and reduced tension, thanks to manual physical therapy techniques applied to the muscles there.
- Increased strength: Your therapist will teach you exercises to strengthen your neck and upper back, which will lead to improved posture. With better posture, you will bable to stand and sit longer without experiencing discomfort.
- Improved posture. Bad posture is really one of the leading causes of stress-related headaches. If you don’t enjoy good posture throughout the day, it is likely to lead to more generalized aches and pains, as well as the muscle tension that contributes to stress-related headaches.
The many benefits of physical therapy
Your condition will play a role in the management of your stress-related headaches. If your headaches are the product of a previous accident, for example, one form of therapy that might help for correcting your stance and relaxing your neck muscles may not be sufficient.
In general, you can expect stretching and strength training to be part of your treatment. Other options that your physical therapist might employ can include:
- McKenzie therapies
- Cervical traction
- Body mobilization
- Hot and cold compressions
- Soft tissue mobilization
Aside from your physical therapy sessions at the clinic, your therapist will also recommend exercises, stretches and lifestyle changes that you can make at home, which will all contribute to eliminating your headaches.
What is a typical physical therapy treatment like for headache pain?
Our physical therapist can help you get to the bottom of your headache problem.
If your headache is cervicogenic nature, we may need to work on your neck. For instance:
- Laser therapy and massage therapy can both relax tight neck tissues and speed recovery to injured muscles.
- Chiropractic adjustment can correct skeletal misalignment issues that place your neck muscles under unnatural strain. These adjustments can also help to reduce cluster headache attacks.
- Our physical therapist can help you identify other migraine triggers and suggest strategies for avoiding them in your everyday life.
- If your migraines are the result of a recent concussion, a carefully administered course of physical therapy can actually help you recuperate from that concussion more quickly.
- Corrective exercises and postural/ergonomic changes can help you steer clear of “text neck” and other occupational headache triggers.
- Exercises that strengthen and loosen your neck muscles can help to ease the stresses that set off your headaches.
Ready to find long-lasting relief from your headaches?
What are you waiting for? Stress-related headaches can be a thing of the past for you, after working with a physical therapist to correct the problem. Contact our office today to schedule your first appointment.
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