Have you been suffering from debilitating headaches? If so, know that you are not alone. It is no secret that headaches can cause limits to your daily life. In fact, the International Headache Society states that headaches are the third most common pain complaint of pain across the world.
Fortunately though, physical therapy can help you overcome those painful barriers.
If you are living with constant headaches and you’re looking for relief, call Wright Physical Therapy today to consult with one of our licensed physical therapists. We’ll help you find true and lasting relief from headache pain!
What is causing my headaches?
A “headache” is a term that refers to any form of pain that happens in the head. The trick is to figure out what kind of headache you’re having and then come up with a treatment strategy that works for you. Physical therapists are skilled at identifying various forms of headaches and developing pain-relieving treatments for stress-related headaches.
There are several different types of headaches that can be treated with physical therapy. These include, but are not limited to:
- Migraine or sinus.
- Stress (tension).
Tension headaches are some of the most commonly treated headaches by a physical therapist. They occur when the neck and scalp muscles contract or become tense, and they can happen at any age.
Stress-related headaches generally start at the back of the head and progress to the top of the head and eyes, sometimes accompanied by facial pain along the jaw and cheeks. This type of discomfort has been compared to having hair pulled or wearing a very tight hat. These types of headaches can occur as a result of:
- Neck or jaw problems.
- Poor posture.
- Increased stress.
Most headaches will resolve on their own without medical intervention; however, severe or recurrent headaches that interfere with one’s quality of life should most certainly be evaluated further.
Physical therapy techniques for pain relief
The good news is that if you’re struggling with headache pain, there is a solution to your problem. You can kiss those days and nights of pounding grief goodbye!
Your physical therapist may suggest any combination of specialized treatment services to treat your headaches. These may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Muscular releases.
- Muscle energy techniques.
- Cervical traction.
- Soft tissue mobilization.
- McKenzie-based therapies.
- Body mobilization.
- Ice or heat compressions.
- Stretching exercises.
- Strengthening exercises.
With all treatment plans, you can expect to receive education that will supplement your in-office experience. During your first appointment, your therapist will assess your condition, ask you about your symptoms, and create a customized treatment plan specifically for you.
You can also expect the following during your assessment:
- Examination of your posture while engaged in different activities.
- Tests of your muscle strength and sensation.
- Manual therapy to ascertain the mobility of joints and muscles in your neck.
- Measurements regarding the range of motion of your shoulders, neck, and other relevant parts of the body.
- Questions regarding previous injuries to your neck, head, jaw, and/or back.
- Inquiries about the location of the pain, in addition to any other symptoms you are experiencing.
Your treatment plan will be aimed at giving you pain relief and increasing your daily function. Your physical therapist will help you achieve this through:
- Strength improvement. You’ll learn exercises to help strengthen the muscles that control your neck and upper back, in order to improve posture and increase your ability to stand or sit comfortably for longer periods of time.
- Posture improvement. Your posture throughout the day greatly impacts your likelihood for pain and stress-related headaches. Your physical therapist will teach you methods of improving your posture in order to function more comfortably in your daily life.
- Neck function improvement. Using manual therapy, your physical therapist will stretch the muscles in the back of your neck to relieve pain and increase movement.
What are you waiting for? Relief is a call away!
The sooner you see a physical therapist, the less probable it is that your headaches will become more severe.
Are your headaches interfering with your everyday activities? If this is the case, please inform us as soon as possible. To get started on the first steps of your own tailored treatment plan, call our office today!