Ways a Physical Therapist can help you with your Headaches

Updated: Jan 3

Headaches affect most of us in the general public and are described by the type and location of pain in the head. Even though most headaches resolve gradually, they can impact your ability to do daily activities and overall quality of life.


Different types of headaches include:

  • Tension.

  • Cervicogenic or neck muscle-related.

  • Migraine.

  • Secondary headaches from an underlying condition, such as fever, infectious disease, sinus disorder, or in rare cases, a tumor or more serious illness.

  • Unspecified headaches.

During your physical therapy evaluation your PT will determine the type of headache you have and cater a program to address your particular needs. Treatments often entail the following:


1. Manual therapy

Proven hands-on techniques are designed to alleviate joint and muscle stiffness, increase mobility of the head and neck, decrease muscle tension and spasms, and improve muscle performance. More specifically, dry needling, can help promote mobility and decrease pain for certain types of headaches.


2. Exercise

Research has shown that various types of specific exercises will decrease pain, improve endurance, decrease inflammation, and promote overall healing. Here at Synergy we specialize in Yoga and Pilates, both of which address mobility and improve overall posture. In addition to individualized prescribed exercises, customized home-exercise programs are an essential part of the treatment plan.


3. Education

Educational strategies have been found helpful at lessening severity and/or frequency of headaches. These strategies include identifying highly individualized triggers (ie, dietary, sleep, movement/postural habits, stressors, hydration). Effective strategies to alleviate symptoms also include a wide variety of relaxation techniques.

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