Find Relief for Persistent Headaches with Physical Therapy
If stress-related headaches happen so often that they affect your daily life, it’s time to start thinking about physical therapy for relief. Stress-related headaches, also called tension headaches, are the most common type of headache that affects people.
While not as serious as migraines, tension headaches are a sign that something in your body is “off.” Physical therapist can work with you to determine the cause and eliminate your stress-related headaches for good.
How will physical therapy benefit me in the long run?
The ultimate goal of your physical therapy 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:
- Reduced Neck Tension: You will have better range of motion in your neck and reduced tension, thanks to manual physical therapy techniques applied to the muscles there.
- Improved 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.
- Better 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.
How can physical therapy help relieve my headaches?
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 physical therapist might employ can include:
- McKenzie therapies
- Cervical traction
- Body mobilization
- Hot and cold compressions
- Soft tissue mobilization
Aside from your physical therapy 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 can I find out if my headaches are stress-related?
As stated by Choose PT, “There is effective treatment for almost every type of headache.”
Before your physical therapy sessions start up, your therapist will work with you to diagnose your headaches. You will discuss your medical history with your therapist, in order to determine the best methods of treatment for your needs.
If you’ve had an injury to your neck, back, or jaw years ago, you may still notice headaches to this day. The location where you experience pain, such as in your face, back of your neck, or forehead, can also help diagnose the source.
Your physical therapist is likely to run you through some tests as part of the diagnosis phase. For example, your posture will be checked as you engage in a number of activities.The strength of your muscles and the range of motion in your neck and shoulder will also be tested, in order to find the affected area(s).
Your physical therapist may perform manual therapy to see how mobile your neck joints are. Once the cause of your stress-related headaches is determined, a customized physical therapy treatment plan will be prescribed to treat the issues you are experiencing.
What could be causing your stress-related headaches?
One of the main causes of stress-related headaches is in the name of stress. Headaches generally occur when muscles in the neck or scalp become tense and contract. Depression and anxiety are similar conditions that foster stress and can also lead to headaches.
There may also be a physical cause behind your stress-related headaches. An accident or injury to the neck or back can lead to headaches, as can poor posture and arthritis.
Some common causes of stress-related tension headaches include, but are not limited to:
- Hair pulled back tightly
- Poor posture
- Anxiety and depression
Find the relief you’ve been looking for today
Don’t let yourself live in pain any longer! Stress-related headaches can be a thing of the past for you once you begin working with a physical therapist to correct the problem. Please contact Cornerstone Physical Therapy today to schedule your first appointment!