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Headache Sufferers: Physical Therapy Can Help Got a headache? You’re not alone. One of the most common reasons people visit the doctor is for headaches. Seven in ten people have at least one headache a year, whi...
Headache Sufferers: Physical Therapy Can Help
Got a headache? You’re not alone. One of the most common reasons people visit the doctor is for headaches. Seven in ten people have at least one headache a year, while 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches.
4 DIFFERENT TYPES OF HEADACHES: What type do you have?
It is important to determine what type of headache is causing you pain to be able to treat it correctly.
1. Tension Headaches—affecting approximately 90% of adults, tension headaches are the most common type of primary headache and feel like a constant ache or pressure around the head, especially at the temples or the back of the head. Tension headaches are the results of poor posture, which causes tightening of the muscles in the neck and scalp.
2. Migraine Headaches—migraine headaches are intense and throbbing, often involving one side of the head and can make you feel sensitive to light and noise. Migraines can last from hours to days and are very debilitating causing nausea and/or vomiting. Frequency varies from person to person, recurring several times a month or 1-2 each year.
3. Cluster Headaches—though cluster headaches are one of the least common types, they still affect about 1 million people in the United States, These types of headaches generally affect men more than women and can appear suddenly. Symptoms include pain felt on one side of the head behind an eye and occur frequently throughout the day. Similar to migraines, cluster headaches are generally related to an increased blood flow as a result of the blood vessels in the brain widening.
4. Sinus Headaches—when a sinus becomes inflamed, usually due to an infection, it can cause pain. Sinus headaches cause a dull, deep, throbbing pain in the front of your head and face. These types of headaches are usually difficult to diagnose because symptoms are very similar to tension headaches and migraines.
10 COMMON HEADACHE TRIGGERS
1. Poor Posture 6. Bright lights
2. Weight 7. Grinding your teeth at night
3. Dehydration 8. What you eat
4. Perfume/Household Cleaners 9. Too much caffeine
5. Bad weather 10. Sleep deprivation
HOW CAN PHYSICAL THERAPY HELP?
Along with lifestyle changes recommended for headaches such as exercise, diet, and sleep, physical therapy can help to decrease muscle tension and improve range of head and neck movement. Physical therapy will get rid of muscles spasms and trigger points, as well as muscular imbalances which can contribute to certain headaches. Your physical therapist can teach you simple self-treatment techniques to stop headaches before they start. Several different methods of treatment include:
• Neck mobilization • Spinal manipulation
• Strengthening • Posture education
When headaches occur, your body is telling you that something is wrong. Make sure you seek help today if you or your patients suffer from headaches—call Above & Beyond Physical Therapy to make an appointment and rid yourself and your patients of those painful headaches and get back to healthy and pain-free living.
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