Did you know that headaches are the third most common pain complaint? It’s true. Headaches are extremely common and can be so debilitating to the point that they impact a person’s quality of life. Dealing with headaches on a daily alone can be very isolating and leave a person feeling exhausted.
If stress-related headaches are interfering with your daily life, it's time to consider Physical therapy as a possible solution. The most common type of headache that affects people are stress-related headaches, also known as tension headaches. Tension headaches, while not as severe as migraines, are an indication that something in your body is “off.” A physical therapist can help you figure out what's causing your headaches and get rid of them for good.
Contact Back In Motion Physical Therapy & Performance in FORT MYERS and keep reading to learn how physical therapy can relieve your pesky tension headaches.
What Causes Stress-Related Headaches?
Stress is one of the most common causes of stress-related headaches; it's right there in the name. When the muscles in the neck or scalp tense and contract, it causes a headache. Depression and anxiety are two emotions that, like stress, can cause headaches. Furthermore, there could be a physical cause for your stress-related headaches. Headaches can be caused by an accident or injury to the neck or back. Other potential causes include poor posture and arthritis.
Pinpointing the Source of Your Pain
Your therapist will work with you to diagnose your headaches before beginning physical therapy treatments. Your therapist will need to know about your medical history. If you suffered a neck, back, or jaw injury years ago, it could still be causing headaches today. The location of your pain, such as the face, back of the neck, or forehead, can also help in determining the source.
As part of the diagnosis phase, your physical therapist will most likely administer some tests to you. Your posture, for example, will be checked as you engage in various activities. Your muscle strength and range of motion in your neck and shoulders will also be evaluated. Your therapist may perform manual therapy to assess the mobility of your neck joints. Once the source of your stress-related headaches has been identified, an individualized treatment plan will be prescribed to you.
Your individual diagnosis will influence how your physical therapist treats your stress-related headaches. For example, if your headaches are the result of a previous injury, a treatment plan that focuses on correcting your posture and strengthening your neck muscles may not be appropriate. Stretching and strength training is likely to be part of your treatment plan. Your Physical therapist may also use the following techniques:
- Body mobilization
- Cervical traction
- McKenzie therapies
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Hot and cold compressions
In addition to your physical therapy sessions at the clinic, your therapist will recommend exercises, stretches, and lifestyle changes that you can do at home to help eliminate your headaches.
How PT Can Relieve and Eventually Eliminate Your Tension Headaches
At Back In Motion Physical Therapy & Performance, our ultimate goal in creating your physical therapy regimen will be to eliminate your stress-related headaches. However, in addition to relief, you will likely gain the following benefits, which will improve your overall quality of life:
- Reduced Neck Pain: Because of manual physical therapy techniques used on the muscles in your neck, you will have a greater range of motion and less tension.
- Improved Strength: Your therapist will teach you exercises to strengthen your neck and upper back, which will result in improved posture. With better posture, you will be able to stand and sit longer without experiencing discomfort.
- Better Posture: One of the leading causes of stress-related headaches is poor posture. If you do not maintain good posture throughout the day, it is likely that you will experience more generalized aches and pains, as well as muscle tension, which contributes to stress-related headaches.
What are You Waiting for? Contact Back In Motion Physical Therapy & Performance Today!
Stress-related headaches can be a thing of the past for you, after working with a physical therapist to correct the problem. There’s no reason you need to continue living in constant pain and discomfort with so many treatment options available to you. Contact our office today to experience long-lasting pain relief from stress-related headaches and improve your quality of life!