Physical Therapy Treatment for Headaches

a middle-aged man suffering for a headache

Headache Treatment

Many if not all headaches have a variable degree of musculoskeletal components involved in production of these headaches.

At MSMPT we utilize the most current, time tested and evidence base manual and manipulative techniques in conjunction with the most appropriate individualized exercise progressions and ergonomic modifications to help minimize every possible component of this headache whether primary or secondary.

We at MSMPT love to work with any other member of your headaches management team including your neurologist, primary care physician, dentist, endocrinologist and any other relevant health care professional. Headaches management has been our focus for the past 30 years and we have acquired many expertise in effectively managing most headache related conditions as well as recognizing potentially ominous presentations which may require a more specialized medical attention.

At MSMPT we specialize in treating conditions affecting the head and the neck by treating the neuromusculoskeletal components and regional symptomatic contributions. Which may variably reduce or eliminate cranio cervical aches and pains.

Types of Headaches

These are some of the more common of over 150 different types of headaches that exist:

  • Tension headaches
  • Cluster headaches
  • Cervicogenic headaches
  • Chronic daily headaches
  • Migraine headaches

TPI-certified practitioners are not swing coaches or golf professionals. Technical corrections to your swing are something that a golf professional is far more qualified to help you improve. Our physical therapist will analyze your body’s physical abilities and limitations as they relate to the golf swing from a biomechanical perspective. We can work with your golf professional to help you achieve your optimal swing performance.

Physical Therapy Treatment

While physical therapy isn’t normally someone’s first thought when experiencing a headache, there are treatments physical therapy provides that can prove helpful for some types of headaches. Most often, the common behavior is to take some form of pain-relieving medication, either over-the-counter or a prescription from the doctor.

A greater majority of headaches are attributed to cervicogenic headaches, meaning that they are related to the neck in some form. Poor posture, stress, and other factors can contribute to weakness, strain, and injury to the neck muscles and joints. This pain radiates up into the scalp, side of the head, and even the forehead, depending on the area of the neck involved.

a blond woman with headache

Tension Headaches

The most common type of headache is known as a tension headache, or musculoskeletal headache. Those with tension headaches tend to report a tight band or tourniquet feeling around their head. It can cause anywhere from mild to severe pain behind the eyes and in the head and neck.

These are often confused with Migraine Headaches; however a migraine often presents itself with throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, as well as nausea and vomiting. That which tension headaches do not present with.

Tension headaches most often occur due to stress, repetitive motions or poor posture, and tension in the neck. This tension is thought to cause compression of the greater occipital nerve.

Also, a traumatic injury to the neck, such as whiplash, is a common cause of tension headaches. With neck injuries such as whiplash, the muscles and connective tissues in the neck can become strained and go into spasm, which leads to agonizing pain felt in the head, behind the eyes, as well as in the face, shoulders, or neck.

Cervicogenic Headaches

Cervicogenic headaches are related to pain and dysfunction at the neck involving the top three vertebrae of the neck (cervical spine) and the upper cervical muscles.

There is often an imbalance in both the soft tissue extensibility (flexibility) as well as strength of the neck muscles, with the front muscles stretched and weak, and the muscles at the back of the neck, high under the base of the skull, tight.

These headaches can develop after injury or trauma such as a motor vehicle accident or concussion. Arthritis, work-related injury or repetitive strain can also trigger a cervicogenic headache.

Professions that require a downward looking posture or motion of the head or neck are most prone for developing cervicogenic headaches. Examples include hair stylists, long-haul drivers, chefs, nail artists, jewelers, and desk workers.