Headache Sufferers: Physical Therapy Can Help

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Jan 27
2014

Headache Sufferers: Physical Therapy Can Help

headacheGot 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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Locations

Queen Creek Location
21321 E. Ocotillo Rd., Suite 122
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Ph: 480.987.1870
F: 480.987.9289

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3201 W. Peoria Ave., Suite D800
Phoenix, AZ 85029
Ph: 602.866.2231
F: 602.866.2261

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