Headaches can be a frustrating experience. Some people live with chronic headaches for years, thinking there isn’t much that can be done to help them. To be fair, they can be difficult to treat because so many different things can cause them. Dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, eye strain, or jaw pain can lead to headaches. Migraine headaches are a whole other animal and sometimes require medical intervention.
Physical Therapy Can Help Headache Sufferers
There is good news! Physical therapy can help with cervicogenic and tension headaches, meaning the pain originates in the neck. The cervical spine has many intricate muscles and fascia that attach to the skull, causing referral pain. This means the source of pain may be one (or many) muscles attached to the cervical spine, but you feel the pain in your head, behind your eye, or in your temple.
Will physical therapy be a quick fix for headache pain?
It depends. If you’ve been suffering with chronic headaches, it may take some time before you start to feel better. However, you may feel a small amount of relief after your first couple of sessions. It’s important to stay the course!
Does posture play a role in headache pain?
Common knowledge would say that yes, if you have forward head posture that this can increase your likelihood of headaches. A forward head position can cause cervical muscles to work harder simply to hold your head up against gravity. While no one expects perfect posture all day, it’s important to change your posture throughout the day.
What will my physical therapist do?
In your first session, your therapist may palpate your neck to assess its mobility and find if there are muscle groups that cause your headache. If they are working on your neck and suddenly, they can trigger your headache, then we know that’s one possible source. And, since we are exercise specialists, we will always give you some exercises for homework to increase your chances of long-term relief. Don’t be surprised if your sessions also involve some shoulder blade work or thoracic spine (upper back) exercises – the human body is an interconnected machine.
Don’t suffer with headaches! We are here to help! Call us for an appointment today.