Three Ways a Physical Therapist Can Help You Manage Your Headaches

December 31, 2021 7:19 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Frequent headaches can keep you from enjoying everyday life, and over-the-counter remedies only work so well. Physical therapy is becoming one of the most effective headache treatments, alleviating the symptoms of a variety of common headaches, including tension headaches and migraines. Read on to learn more about this effective form of therapy.

How physical therapy can help manage headaches

If you want to reduce the severity and/or frequency of headaches, don’t hesitate to book a visit to your preferred physical therapist. After a clinical examination to diagnose the type of headaches you’re having, your physical therapist will develop a personalized treatment plan for your headaches that can include:

  • Manual therapy: This hands-on technique is proven to reduce joint and muscle stiffness and muscle tension. It also increases mobility of the head and neck, and prevents spasms. Your physical therapist may also recommend a dry needling treatment to reduce muscle tension and eliminate trigger points that cause headaches.
  • Exercises: Your physical therapist could recommend several stretching exercises to help prevent headaches. Neck stretching exercises are particularly effective for treating tension headaches by loosening up the neck muscles. For migraine sufferers, a combination of stretching exercises and icing can help. Other relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing methods, can also be effective.
  • Behavioral changes: Physical therapists can help you identify your personal triggers that cause headaches. There are several behavioral changes you can make to keep these triggers at bay and lessen the severity and frequency of headaches. Your therapist may recommend changes in diet, sleep, posture, hydration and a variety of other habits and behaviors.

Types of headaches physical therapy can help

Before your physical therapist can develop a personalized treatment plan for your situation, they’ll determine exactly what type of headaches you suffer from. The four most common types of headaches that can be treated with physical therapy include:

  • Tension headaches
  • Cluster headaches
  • Migraines
  • Sinus or allergy headaches

Tips for reducing headache pain

In addition to getting physical therapy, there are other simple, yet effective methods for preventing headaches. They include:

  • Even something as routine as a hot shower can reduce headache symptoms, since heat alleviates pain due to blood vessel constriction. You could also try heat therapy, applying a heat pack to the back of your neck to get the blood moving.
  • Caffeine is a trigger for headaches. Instead of drinking your daily cup of coffee or tea, drink water.
  • If you suffer from frequent sinus headaches, use a humidifier in your home. Keeping the air moist helps you avoid sinus irritation that accompanies dry air conditions.
  • If you suffer from migraine headaches, make sure to take your migraine medication as soon as you notice the first stages of a migraine (the aura stage).

If you’re suffering from frequent headaches, physical therapy can help. Talk to the experts at Focus Forward Wellness & Physical Therapy today and begin the process of taking your life back. We’ll develop a personalized treatment plan so you can say goodbye to debilitating headaches for good.

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