Got a busy life? Can’t find your keys? Did the dog just track in mud on the living room carpet? It’s these little things that add up and affect your ability to cope and can cause you to have a stress-related headache. The next time you have a stress-related headache, don’t reach for the aspirin. Contact Total Function Physical Therapy to schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists to get rid of your pain.
What is a Stress-Related Headache?
A stress-related headache is often a result of the daily grind. It’s often the everyday irritants like sitting in traffic and tolerating with everyday annoyances at work that trigger this type of headache. And stiffening your shoulders or tensing your muscles can make these types of headaches even worse. The good news is you can stop relying on those over-the-counter meds to get rid of your stress-related headache with physical therapy.
Causes and Symptoms of Stress-Related Headaches
Stress causes stress in the head. Stress-related headaches can cause pressure, tightness and pain around the back of the head and neck and around the forehead. It may feel like a clamp squeezing your head. And there are two types of stress-related headaches. The first type is known as episodic tension headaches. These types of headaches occur less than 15 days per month. The second type is known as chronic tension headaches. These occur more than 15 days a month and can last from 30 minutes to several days. Often, these types of headaches begin gradually and likely in the middle of the day. Pain may ease up or get stronger, but it’s always there. Up to 80 percent of Americans experience stress-related headaches from time to time.
How Physical Therapy Helps Stress-Related Headaches
Physical therapy is often the best treatment for stress-related headaches. Physical therapy focuses on promoting relaxation and prescribed exercises. A physical therapist may also perform soft tissue mobilization and hands-on manual therapy to alleviate the pain from stress-related headaches. A physical therapist will address the pathophysiological aspects of the stress-related headache by implementing hands-on manual massage and soft tissue mobilization. Both increase the blood flow of tissue and reduce myofascial trigger points.
In addition, a physical therapy treatment plan for a stress-related headache may include cold and heat therapy. The electronic pulse wands used for these ease muscle strain and provide a soothing relief. Often, a physical therapist will evaluate your posture in order to lessen the stress on muscles. They may also recommend lifestyle changes, at-home exercises and modifications to workstations at work and home. The goal of physical therapy is to treat the root cause of your stress-related headache.
Want to learn more about relieving the frequency and severity of your stress-related headache? Give us a call today, and we’ll set up an evaluation. Our physical therapist will also suggest a specific treatment plan to ward off those debilitating stress-headaches. Live a pain-free life with physical therapy.