So many people think of physical therapy as something to turn to after sustaining a severe injury or a car accident. And sure, while there are plenty of times that physical therapy will be recommended in those instances, this isn’t the only use for this incredibly helpful therapy method.
Physical therapy treatments are designed to help the body function at its peak, and that often means using the core PT strategies like exercise, muscle training, and targeted massage to do so, as well as adjustment and at times even acupuncture, to address whatever the primary cause of the pain may be—including headaches.
There is a conception that physical therapy is only for injuries or accidents is a dangerous one, it impedes people with debilitating migraines or headaches from seeking help that could be wildly beneficial to their overall health and well-being.
Think PT Is Only For Injuries? Think Again!
According to Athletico, only 1.5-7% of visits to a primary care physician in North America in 2007 were to address headaches. This is worrying, seeing as they also note 70-80% of females and 60% of males report experiencing headaches in the US (Scher et al. 1999), and a lifetime prevalence is noted between 83-93%.
No matter how old you are, what kind of shape you’re in, or the frequency in which you have them, dealing with headaches around the clock can be incredibly frustrating, and can quickly become debilitating.
Whether they are tension headaches or the more common migraine headaches, waking up with the pain already present in your head only to feel it grow more intense and painful throughout the day can interfere with your plans—whether that is a productive day at the office or a fun-filled day with family and friends.
How Can PT Help Your Headaches
Relying on medication for your migraine headaches can have drastic and unexpected side effects that’ll do more harm than good in the long run. There is also the chance that they can cause you to feel tired, depressed, or otherwise unable to participate in the activities you love.
All in all, when you count on medication to cope with the pain of chronic headaches you are not actually helping your body overcome those headaches, but in actuality, you are setting yourself up for long-term dependency on those medications.
Making the switch to physical therapy will not only help you to address the chronic pain associated with migraine and tension headaches, but is the safest, healthiest, and most dependable alternative provided. Physical Therapy will allow you to break free from a possible dependency on medications while experiencing actual and substantial relief from the regular pain of your chronic headaches.
Physical therapy utilizes a series of physical, cognitive, emotional and social well-being strategies to improve quality of life with migraine and tension headaches. These strategies include:
- Exercise: Strategic exercises, especially when combined with particular attention to optimal hydration can help to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches.
- Muscle training: Building strength in certain areas can help to further alleviate tension that may be built up in the neck and back, and this can help to reduce the pain of migraine headaches.
- Targeted massage: Your physical therapist may identify certain trigger points that could be associated with the pain of tension headaches, and targeted massage can help you to experience tension relief, and therefore headache relief.
These strategies are not designed to give you just temporary relief, put to help and provide you with the tools to cope with the pain, stress, and tension in the body that comes with migraines and headaches.
You may still have questions regarding how exactly these practices will do this. Your therapist will target areas like the neck, back, and jaw, relaxing them and relieving tension
Don’t Let Headaches Ruin Your Life. Make The Call Today!
Whether your headaches are bothering you every day, or just most days, you can make the decision to put an end to that pain right now. Chronic headaches can interfere with your ability to do just about anything, whether it is work related or even just a day at home with the family.
Leave the pain and frustration of chronic headaches in the past by working with a licensed and experienced physical therapist who can help you finally say goodbye to that head pain and live your life on your own terms. The goal of physical therapy is to help you feel back to being your best self, free of the pain and frustrations of whatever it is that was holding you back, without long-term dependence on dangerous and risky pain medication.
For more information about how physical therapy may help you to overcome the chronic pain associated with your headaches, contact your physical therapy office today and make your migraines and headaches a thing of the past!