Headaches are usually characterized as a throbbing, aching pain in the head. A headache usually lasts for a few hours or even a full day but goes away with some rest and light medication.
This is the case most of the time, but sometimes, headaches can be more serious. Chronic headaches are serious headaches that occur at least 15 days per month and last for more than four hours per day. Physical therapists can help you learn if your headaches are chronic. They can also help you find effective treatment for chronic headaches.
How do you know if you need treatment for chronic headaches?
The frequency and duration of your headaches can be an indication that you need treatment for chronic headaches. There are other factors that you should consider as well. Often, chronic headaches are accompanied by symptoms beyond head pain, since they’re typically related to other conditions.
You should see a medical professional if you have a headache and any of these other symptoms:
- Pain that radiates through your neck and into your shoulders
- Loss of mobility in the neck
- Numbness in the face or neck
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
Treating chronic headaches is more involved than treating normal headaches. Your physician should be able to identify the cause of your headaches and recommend the right treatment for you. This treatment can include help from a physical therapist.
What’s involved in a physical therapy plan for chronic headache treatment?
Our physical therapists can build you a personalized treatment plan for your chronic headaches. Your plan will be designed to address the root cause of your headaches and reduce the symptoms they’re causing. Some of the therapy methods used in your plan can include:
- Therapeutic exercises — Tightness in your neck muscles can trigger chronic headaches. Your physical therapist can show you how to perform therapeutic exercises intended to stretch these muscles. Studies show that such exercises can significantly reduce headache frequency. Researchers from one study report that a treatment plan that included therapeutic exercises helped reduce headache frequency by almost 58%.
- Myofascial release — This therapy method is a type of manual therapy. It involves your physical therapist using their hands to release areas of tension in muscles. Myofascial release can be applied to the upper back, shoulders and neck to help patients with chronic headaches. One study shows that myofascial release helped reduce pain scores in headache patients by almost four points on the numeric pain rating scale (NPRS).
Armor Physical Therapy offers effective chronic headache treatment
Would you like to find out how physical therapy can help treat your chronic headaches? Our team at Armor Physical Therapy is ready and willing to help you find the treatment you need. We offer free screenings that can reveal the root cause of your chronic headaches. In addition, our physical therapists can create a personalized therapy plan for you that’s designed to reduce the pain and frequency of your headaches.
Not able to come to one of our clinics for an in-person session? No worries! Our team offers several therapy services that you can use from home, including at-home therapy and virtual care appointments. You can even begin using our therapy services without first getting a doctor’s referral.
Contact us today for more information about our physical therapy services or to schedule your free screening.