Living With Headaches? You Don't Have To!

December 20th, 2021

Find Relief for Persistent Headaches with Physical Therapy

It's incredibly frustrating to deal with headaches around the clock, and it can quickly become debilitating.

Whether it's tension headaches or more traditional migraine headaches, waking up with the pain already present in your head just to feel it grow more intense and painful as the day goes on can interfere with whatever you've planned for the day—whether it's a productive day at the office or a fun-filled day with family and friends.

Fortunately, physical therapy can help you find relief from chronic, painful headaches. Contact or visit us in Lake City, Florence, or Camden, SC today to learn more!

The benefit of physical therapy for headaches

Physical therapy is designed to help the body function optimally, and sometimes this means using core PT strategies, such as exercise, muscle training, and targeted massage, as well as adjustment and sometimes even acupuncture to address whatever the primary cause of pain may be—including headaches.

Whether your headaches bother you every day or frequently, it's time to put an end to that pain. Chronic headaches can interfere with your ability to do just about anything, whether it's work related or a day at home with your family.

Put the pain and frustration of chronic headaches in the past by working with a licensed and experienced physical therapist who can help you finally say goodbye to headache pains.

What can I expect from physical therapy treatments?

Each individual's treatment strategy is different, but many physical therapists use many of the same approaches.

Examples include soft tissue mobilization, heat or ice compression, muscle release, cervical traction, body mobilization, stretching, strengthening, muscle energy techniques, and McKenzie-based spine diagnosis and therapy.

With all treatment plans, you should expect to obtain details that will support your in-office experience.

Physical therapy utilizes a series of physical, cognitive, emotional and social well-being strategies to improve quality of life with migraine and tension headaches. These strategies include:

  • Exercise: Strategic exercises, especially when combined with particular attention to optimal hydration can help to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches.
  • Muscle training: Building strength in certain areas can help to further alleviate tension that may be built up in the neck and back, and this can help to reduce the pain of migraine headaches.
  • Targeted massage: Your physical therapist may identify certain trigger points that could be associated with the pain of tension headaches, and targeted massage can help you to experience tension relief, and therefore headache relief.

Plenty of people think of physical therapy as something to turn to following a severe injury or a car accident, and while there are plenty of times that physical therapy will be recommended in those situations, that is not the only use for this incredibly helpful therapy method.

Although the end goal of physical therapy is pain relief, there are some critical things along the way that your physical therapist will help you address so that you can achieve a decrease in pain:

  1. Postural improvement. How your posture is held during the day significantly impacts your pain levels and the likelihood of experiencing a stress-related headache. Your physical therapist will teach you how to improve your posture for a greater quality of life.
  2. Adjusting the way your neck moves. Your physical therapist can use manual therapy to stretch muscles in your neck to relieve pain and increase range of motion.
  3. Improving strength and muscle ability. You'll learn exercises to help strengthen the muscles that control your upper back and neck. This way your posture will improve, and you'll be able to sit or stand for long periods without experiencing pain and discomfort.

Opting for physical therapy over medication

As stated by Choose PT, “There is effective treatment for almost every type of headache.” Working with a physical therapist can help you identify tension-reducing exercises and help you find long-term relief from headaches without the need to rely on pain medication.

Relying on medication for your headaches may have serious side effects, as well, which may cause you to feel tired, depressed, or otherwise unable to participate in the activities that you love.

What's more, when you're relying on drugs to deal with chronic headache pain, you're not actually helping your body overcome these headaches - in fact, instead, you're setting yourself up for long-term dependence on those drugs.

Moving to physical therapy to help address chronic migraine-related pain and tension headaches can provide you with a healthy alternative that allows you to break free from drug dependence while experiencing real relief from regular chronic headache pain.

Get started on a treatment plan today!

The goal of physical therapy is to help you get back to your optimal self, free from the pain and frustrations of whatever it is that has held you back, and without long-term dependence on pain medication.

Contact your physical therapy office today for more information on how we can help you overcome chronic headache pain!