Ready to Rid Yourself of Headaches? PT Can Help

Finally Find Relief for Your Persistent Headaches with Physiotherapy

If stress-related headaches are happening so frequently that they are impacting your daily life, it’s time to start thinking about physiotherapy for relief. Stress-related headaches, also called tension headaches, are the most common type of headache that impacts people.

While they are not as serious as migraines, tension headaches are a sign that something in your body is “off.” A physiotherapist can work with you to determine the cause and eliminate stress-related headaches for good.

How can a physiotherapist help with my headaches?

The ultimate goal of your physiotherapy regimen will be to eliminate your stress-related headaches. However, in addition to relief, you will gain additional benefits that will likely improve your overall quality of life:

  • Improved posture. Bad posture is really one of the leading causes of stress-related headaches. If you don’t enjoy good posture throughout the day, it is likely to lead to more generalized aches and pains, as well as the muscle tension that contributes to stress-related headaches.
  • Neck tension relief. You will have better range of motion in your neck and reduced tension, thanks to manual physiotherapy techniques applied to the muscles there.
  • Increased strength: Your therapist will teach you exercises to strengthen your neck and upper back, which will lead to improved posture. With better posture, you will be able to stand and sit longer without experiencing discomfort.

The many benefits of physiotherapy

The treatment of your stress-related headaches will depend in part on the diagnosis. For example, one course of treatment that would work for correcting your posture and strengthening the neck muscles might not be appropriate if your headaches are the result of a past injury.

In general, you can expect stretching and strength training to be part of your treatment. Other options that your physiotherapist might employ can include:

  • McKenzie therapies
  • Cervical traction
  • Body mobilization
  • Hot and cold compressions
  • Soft tissue mobilization

Aside from your physiotherapy sessions at the clinic, your therapist will also recommend exercises, stretches and lifestyle changes that you can make at home, which will all contribute to eliminating your headaches.

How else can PT help my headaches?

Our physiotherapist can help you get to the bottom of your headache problem.

If your headache is cervinogenic in nature, we may need to work on your neck. For instance:

  • Our physiotherapist can help you identify other migraine triggers and suggest strategies for avoiding them in your everyday life.
  • If your migraines are the result of a recent concussion, a carefully-administered course of physiotherapy can actually help you recuperate from that concussion more quickly.
  • Corrective exercises and postural/ergonomic changes can help you steer clear of “text neck” and other occupational headache triggers.
  • Laser therapy and massage therapy can both relax tight neck tissues and speed recovery to injured muscles.
  • Chiropractic adjustment can correct skeletal misalignment issues that place your neck muscles under unnatural strain. These adjustments can also help to reduce cluster headache attacks.
  • Exercises that strengthen and loosen your neck muscles can help to ease the stresses that set off your headaches.

Diagnosing headaches with PT

Before your physiotherapy treatments begin, your therapist will work with you to diagnose your headaches. You’ll need to discuss your medical history with the therapist. If you sustained an injury to your neck, back or jaw years ago, it could still be contributing to headaches to this day. The location where you experience pain, such as in the face, back of the neck or forehead, can also help to diagnose the source.

Your physiotherapist will likely run you through some tests as part of the diagnosis phase. For example, your posture will be checked as you engage in several activities. The strength of your muscles and the range of motion in your neck and shoulders will be tested. Your therapist might do some manual therapy to see how mobile your neck joints are.

Once the cause of your stress-related headaches is determined, a customized course of physiotherapy can be prescribed to treat them.

So, what’s causing my headaches?

One of the main causes of stress-related headaches is right there in the name: stress. The headache generally happens when the muscles in the neck or scalp become tense and contract.

Depression and anxiety are similar emotions to stress that can also lead to headaches. In addition, there may be a physical cause behind your stress-related headaches. An accident or injury to the neck or back can contribute to headaches. Poor posture and arthritis are two other potential causes.

Find relief for your stress-related headaches today

What are you waiting for? Stress-related headaches can be a thing of the past for you, after working with a physiotherapist to correct the problem. Contact BeActive Physio today to schedule your first appointment.

How to Make Your Stress-Related Headaches Disappear

Did you know that headaches are the third most common pain complaint throughout the world? They can impact your quality of life and make it difficult to function normally. Luckily, headache relief can be found through physiotherapy. Your trained physiotherapist will work with you to provide pain relief from headaches, in addition to any other aches and pains you may be suffering from. In this guide, we’ll outline the different types of headaches and the causes for them, in addition to explaining how physiotherapy can help.

Different types of headaches:

Any type of pain that occurs within the head can be referred to as a “headache.” Most headaches will resolve on their own without medical intervention; however, severe or recurrent headaches that interfere with one’s quality of life should most certainly be evaluated further. The challenge lies in identifying which type of headache you’re experiencing and then devising a treatment plan accordingly. Physiotherapists are adept at diagnosing different types of headaches and can develop  pain relief strategies for stress-related headaches.

There are 10 common types of headaches:

  • Stress (tension)
  • Post-traumatic
  • Migraine or sinus
  • Caffeine
  • Hormone
  • Exertion
  • Cluster
  • Rebound
  • Hypertension

What are stress-related/tension headaches?

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache in adults and older teens. They occur when the neck and scalp muscles contract or become tense, and they can happen at any age. Stress-related headaches generally start at the back of the head and progress to the top of the head and eyes, sometimes accompanied by facial pain along the jaw and cheeks. This type of discomfort has been compared to having hair pulled or wearing a very tight hat. These types of headaches can occur as a result of:

  • Increased stress.
  • Poor posture.
  • Neck or jaw problems.
  • Fatigue.
  • Arthritis.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.

How physiotherapy helps:

At your initial visit, your physiotherapist will conduct a thorough evaluation of your physical abilities, in addition to reviewing your health history. He or she will ask you a series of questions to determine the type of headache you’re experiencing. After your physiotherapist determines what type of headache you’re dealing with you’ll work together to develop a treatment plan for meeting your physical health goals.

During your first visit, you can expect to undergo some of the following:

  • Inquiries about the location of the pain, in addition to any other symptoms you are experiencing.
  • Questions regarding previous injuries to your neck, head, jaw and/or back.
  • Measurements regarding the range of motion of your shoulders, neck, and other relevant parts of the body.
  • Examination of your posture while engaged in different activities.
  • Tests of your muscle strength and sensation.
  • Manual therapy to ascertain the mobility of joints and muscles in your neck.

A physiotherapist’s mission:

While the end goal of physiotherapy is pain relief, there are some important steps along the way that your physiotherapist will help you with, in order to decrease pain and improve function. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Posture improvement. Your posture throughout the day greatly impacts your likelihood for pain and stress-related headaches. Your physiotherapist will teach you methods of improving your posture in order to function more comfortably in your daily life.
  • Strength improvement. You’ll learn exercises to help strengthen the muscles that control your neck and upper back, in order to improve posture and increase your ability to stand or sit comfortably for longer periods of time.
  • Neck improvement. Using manual therapy, your physiotherapist will stretch the muscles in the back of your neck to relieve pain and increase movement.

Different types of physiotherapy treatments

Your physiotherapist may suggest any combination of specialized treatment services, including but not limited to:

  • Heat or ice compressions.
  • Soft tissue mobilization.
  • Muscular releases.
  • Muscle energy techniques.
  • Body mobilization.
  • Cervical traction.
  • McKenzie-based therapies.
  • Stretching.
  • Strengthening.

With all treatment plans, you can expect to receive education that will supplement your in-office experience.

Persistent and life-altering headaches may not go away without physiotherapy. To experience long-lasting pain relief and improve your quality of life, contact BeActive Physio today. Our staff would be happy to talk with you and discuss how we can help you achieve a pain-free life.

Sources:

https://www.moveforwardpt.com/SymptomsConditionsDetail.aspx?cid=fd8a18c8-1893-4dd3-9f00-b6e49cad5005

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