Headaches are a common issue that can plague everyone from preteens to retirees. However, when recurring tension or stress-related headaches make it difficult to get through your day, physical therapy may be necessary to provide long-lasting pain relief.
How Can Physical Therapy Treatments Relieve Recurring Headaches?
Physical therapy can help to reduce the pain associated with headaches while working to restore proper function and a full range of motion in the neck and shoulder areas. Typically, there are 2 different types of physical therapy treatments that are ideal for relieving chronic headaches, these include:
Alternating heat and ice therapy
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS
Soft tissue mobilization
Active Physical Therapies
Pain relief exercises
Depending on the severity and cause of your headaches, our physical therapist may suggest a combination of physical therapy treatment methods to provide pain relief. However, because each person responds differently to headache pain, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no “one size fits all” treatment plan. Because physical therapy targets the muscles and joints, it is an effective treatment option for those who experience tension headaches or stress-related headaches, and headache pain that radiates down into the jaw, neck, and shoulder areas.
Over time, our physical therapist aims to not only reduce your pain but hopefully prevent recurring headaches altogether. The primary goal of physical therapy is to not only provide pain relief but to increase mobility, improve posture, and to help strengthen the muscles that control your neck, shoulders, and upper back areas. With all physical therapy treatment plans, our patients will receive helpful educational information that will help them to complete pain relief exercises at home to supplement in-office visits.
What Causes Headaches?
The most common type of headache experienced by teens and adults in the tension headache—which is sometimes referred to as a stress-related headache. This type of headache pain occurs when the scalp and neck muscles tense up and then contract. If you experience tension headaches, you most likely feel the pain begins at the back of the neck before it climbs up to the top of the head and eventually causes pain and discomfort behind the eyes. It’s also common to experience tension headache pain in the cheeks, jaw, and even down into the shoulders.
Some common causes of a tension headache include:
Wearing hair pulled back tightly or sporting a tight hat
Anxiety and depression
Other common types of headaches that can cause recurring pain and discomfort include the sinus headache, caffeine headaches, migraines, hormonal headaches, post-traumatic headaches, and cluster headaches.
If you or a loved one has been suffering from recurring headaches, you can find fast and effective pain relief with regular physical therapy treatment. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation with our friendly physical therapist.