What are orthostatic headaches and how can PT help them?

Orthostatic Headache

Orthostatic headaches are known as “stand up” headaches because they occur when a person stands up. When this happens, it usually signals that something is wrong with the way their body is regulating blood pressure. The headaches can be painful and often cause nausea, vomiting and sometimes fainting spells.

Treatment for orthostatic headaches focuses on correcting the underlying cause of these symptoms. This may include lifestyle changes such as losing excess weight or avoiding alcohol and tobacco use, anti-hypertensive medications, and in some cases, surgery. Physical therapy has been shown to reduce the frequency and intensity of orthostatic headaches in some patients.

Here are a few steps physical therapists can take to help you:

  • Finding underlying issues — Physical therapists can help people suffering from orthostatic headaches by helping them find the underlying cause of their headaches. For example, if it turns out that their symptoms are triggered by poor posture, physical therapists can help them strengthen their core muscles to improve their posture and relieve symptoms.
  • Stretching exercises — They can direct their patients on how to stretch out areas that are tight or shortened without triggering a headache. A physical therapist might recommend stretches that are done on a regular basis. These stretches can help keep muscles loose, flexible and strong.
  • Demonstrating blood pressure management techniques — Treatment may also include simple exercises designed to help regulate blood pressure. Doing these exercises can help reduce your chances of an orthostatic headache.
  • After-surgery support — Following a surgery, physical therapy improves mobility, strength and balance. Besides reducing the risk of scar tissue, it can also relieve pain and numbness in specific areas. 

Get help for your orthostatic headaches at Armor PT

In the end, managing orthostatic headaches can be easier with help from medical professionals, like the physical therapists at Armor Physical Therapy. Our team can help orthostatic headache sufferers learn how to modify their daily activities. They can also help educate patients about the regulation of blood pressure and proper posture and build them a plan intended to help improve the management of orthostatic headaches.

Let us help you address your headaches. Contact us today, here at Armor Physical Therapy to set up your initial appointment.

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