Have you ever had a pounding sensation in your head that you can’t shake?
Have you ever had facial pain across your forehead or along your cheeks?
Have you ever had the feeling of wearing a tight hat or someone pulling at your hair?
If so, you probably suffer from headaches. Most headaches will resolve on their own, but some are persistent and reduce your quality of life. Fortunately, relief is just around the corner with physical therapy.
Physical therapist can help determine the type of headache and help manage the pain.
Types of Headaches
The most common types of headaches are:
- Cluster headaches
- Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia (TAC), such as cluster headache and paroxysmal hemicrania
Tension type headaches can result from poor posture, jaw problems, neck problems or stress. Tension in this region can result in muscle tightness at the back of your head, jaw and neck which may lead to pain throughout your face and head triggering a headache.
How can a Physical Therapist help?
A physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation to include a musculoskeletal exam and patient history.
The exam will assess:
- Range of motion of the neck, jaw and head
- Joint mobility
- Muscle tightness, myofascial restriction and trigger points throughout the body
- Strength of the trunk and neck musculature
- Appropriate tests and measures
After the evaluation, the physical therapist will create a personalized plan of care.
The plan of care may consist of:
- Manual therapy techniques to increase neck motion and decrease muscle tightness
- Exercises to increase strength throughout the neck, shoulder and trunk
- Education on posture and body mechanics
- Trigger point dry needling
- Modification of daily irritants such as workstation or home office
With the appropriate treatment, a physical therapist can help decrease your headache signs and symptoms and improve your quality of life. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact Orthopedic Physical Therapy at 804-285-0148.