Relieve Those Pounding Headaches with Physical Therapy
Physical therapy isn’t normally someone’s first thought when they have a headache – most of the time, the common reaction is to take some form of pain-relieving medication. This may help to relieve pain in the short-term, but if you are constantly suffering from headaches or migraines, pain relief drugs will not provide you with the same long-term effects that physical therapy will.
A great majority of headaches are attributed to cervicogenic headaches, meaning that they are related to the neck in some form. Typically cervicogenic headaches are only located on one side of your face and head or often feel like they “are behind one of your eyes”. Poor posture, stress, and other factors can contribute to weakness, strain, and injury to the neck muscles and joints. This pain radiates up into the scalp, side of the head, and even the forehead, depending on the area of the neck involved.
If you are in Mooresville and suffer from headaches, you are not alone. Approximately 80-90% of people across the U.S. endure occasional or frequent tension headaches. They are also the third most commonly reported source of pain across the world! Whether they are acute and temporary or constant and chronic (such as migraines), headaches can all be treated with physical therapy at Taylor Rehab Physical Therapy. Request your appointment today!
How can physical therapy help my headache?
If you are suffering from headaches, contact our Mooresville physical therapy office today. At Taylor Rehab Physical Therapy, we are dedicated to providing you with the best treatments for your headaches.
At your initial appointment, one of our highly trained physical therapists will conduct a physical evaluation with particular focus on assessing cervical active range of motion as well as joint mobility and ask you questions about your health history and symptoms, in order to determine what type of headache you are experiencing and where the pain is stemming from.
A treatment plan will then be designed specifically for you and your recovery.
What type of headache am I experiencing?
Many people may not know this, but there are actually different types of headaches that all develop from different causes. The three main types of headaches include:
Cervicogenic headaches are related to neck pain, involving the top three vertebrae of the neck. These headaches can develop as a result of certain conditions, such as a concussion or arthritis, but work-related strain can also trigger a cervicogenic headache. Professions that require a down-turned motion of the head or neck are the most prone for developing cervicogenic headaches. This may include hairdressers, long-haul drivers, chefs, nail artists, jewelers, etc.
The most common form of headaches are known as tension headaches. Tension headaches can last 30 minutes to several days. These can occur due to repetitive motions or poor posture in the neck/head. Tension headaches are caused by a strain on the “dura mater,” which is a sensitive membrane that envelops the brain. The dura mater lies in close proximity to small muscles at the base of the skull that go into spasm when the dura mater becomes strained, thus sending pain signals to the brain and causing your headache.
PT Treatment for Headaches
Physical therapy can be one of the most effective ways at managing your headaches without medication depending upon what type of headache you may have. There is research that supports manual therapy including spinal mobilization and manipulation may be beneficial for relieving cervicogenic headaches and tension headaches. Even migraines may be a mixture of multiple types of headaches which may be treatable without medications or with less medication. Treatment may consist of cervical manipulations or mobilizations to address any joint dysfunction contributing to your headache. Dry needling, electro-dry needling, Graston and cupping may help address muscle tightness contributors to your headache. A prescribed exercise program to address any postural or muscle imbalances can help maintain gains from your PT appointments.
How can I get started on relieving my headaches?
At Taylor Rehab Physical Therapy, our treatments for headaches focus on relieving pain, improving posture and strengthening muscles in the neck and upper back. These will all help in making your daily life much more comfortable and bearable – without the pain of headaches! To schedule your appointment, contact us today to speak to one of our Mooresville, NC physical therapists.