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 get to the source of the pain and provide long term benefit like physical therapy can do.
A greater majority of headaches are attributed to cervicogenic headaches, meaning that they are related to the neck in some form. Poor posture, stress, and other factors can contribute to weakness, strain, past car accidents, and injury to the neck muscles and joints. This pain radiates up into the scalp, side of the head, and even to the forehead, depending on the area of the neck involved.
If you are in Colorado Springs 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, headaches can all be treated with physical therapy at Total Function Physical Therapy. Request your appointment today!
How can physical therapy help my headache?
If you are suffering from headaches, contact our physical therapy office today. At Total Function Physical Therapy PC, 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 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 and jewelers, etc.
Musculoskeletal headaches occur when there are significant amounts of tension in the neck. This is typically a result of physical imbalances, weaknesses, car accidents, although emotional tension (such as stress) can also be a contributing factor. A traumatic injury to the neck, such as whiplash, is a common cause of musculoskeletal headaches. With neck injuries such as whiplash, the muscles and connective tissues in the neck can become strained, sprained or torn. This can lead to agonizing pain felt in the head, as well as in the face, shoulders, or neck.
The most common form of headaches is known as tension headaches. These can occur due to repetitive motions or poor posture in the neck or 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.
How can I get started on relieving my headaches?
At Total Function Physical Therapy PC, our treatments for headaches focus on relieving pain, improving mobility of the upper neck muscles and joints, 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!