Pain in the top, sides or front of your head. Difficulty concentrating. Sensitivity to light or touch. These are just a few of the symptoms you could experience if you have a headache.
Headaches are the third most common pain complaint throughout the world. They can be debilitating and can greatly impact a person’s quality of life. Fortunately, it’s possible to decrease your headache frequency and symptoms. By working with a trained physical therapist, you can experience immediate pain relief from headaches.
What are tension-type headaches?
Tension-type headaches are the most common type of headache in adults and older teens. They often appear as a result of poor posture, increased stress, neck or jaw problems, fatigue or arthritis. It’s also possible to experience them when you’re feeling anxious, depressed or stressed. They occur when the neck and scalp muscles contract or become tense, and they can happen at any age.
Tension-type headaches generally start at the back of the head and progress toward the top and front of the head. Sometimes, facial pain along the jaw and cheeks accompanies the headache. They have been compared to wearing a tight hat, having hair pulled or a squeezing of the head from the ears inward.
How can a physical therapist help you find relief from tension-type headaches?
Your physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation of your health history and a careful physical examination. They will ask you a series of questions to determine the type of headache you’re experiencing and determine the best route for pain relief.
While the end goal of physical therapy is reduced pain, there are some important steps your physical therapist can take along the way to this goal. Some of these steps include:
- Improving your posture — How good your head and neck posture are throughout the day greatly impacts likelihood of stress-related headaches. Your physical therapist can teach you methods of improving your posture. In turn, these methods can reduce your pain and headache frequency.
- Improving neck movement — Using manual therapy, your physical therapist can stretch the muscles in the back of your neck to relieve pain and increase movement. Additionally, they can show you how to do therapeutic stretches that can help improve neck muscle flexibility.
- Improving neck muscle strength — Your physical therapist can help you learn therapeutic exercises intended to help strengthen the muscles that control your upper back and neck. Stronger muscles can improve their ability to support the neck and head. In turn, this can help improve your ability to maintain good posture.
Armor Physical Therapy can help you find effective headache symptom relief
Looking for relief from the pain and other symptoms of tension-type headaches? Our Armor Physical Therapy team can help you. We offer free screenings that can pinpoint the root cause of your headaches. Then, our physical therapists can build you a personalized therapy plan intended to reduce your headache symptoms and improve the mobility of your neck.
Can’t make it into one of our therapy clinics? No problem! Our team offers several physical therapy services that you can use right from your home, including at-home care and virtual therapy sessions. Even better, we can get you started with physical therapy if you don’t have a doctor’s referral.
Contact us today for more information about how we can help with your headaches or to schedule an initial appointment.