4 remedies your PT may recommend for headaches

by | May 4, 2024 | Headaches, Physical Therapy

Experiencing persistent headaches? Seeking treatment is an important step toward finding relief. Treatment methods such as vestibular rehab can be key to alleviating your headaches and other symptoms. 

Headaches can have many sources. For some people, headaches are the result of head injuries. For others, headaches stem from muscle tension. The cause of a headache is not always located in the place where you are experiencing pain. For example, people often experience head pain as a result of tension in the neck. If you have neck pain as well as headaches, the cause may be a neck condition. Sometimes a pinched nerve in the neck can cause headaches. Another major cause of headaches is vestibular dysfunction. Vestibular dysfunction occurs when the body’s balance is disrupted. Common symptoms include headaches, nausea and vertigo. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to find a remedy. Learning about some of the best PT treatment methods for headaches can help you find the remedy that is right for you.

Top PT remedies for headaches

  • Vestibular rehab — Vestibular rehabilitation is a treatment approach intended to address vestibular dysfunction. In many cases, vestibular dysfunction has an underlying cause. Common causes range from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) to labyrinthitis. In addition to headaches, these conditions often cause balance issues and dizziness. A physical therapist can help identify the source of your symptoms and work with you to find a solution. Vestibular rehab takes a holistic approach. This means it typically incorporates multiple treatment techniques to manage your symptoms. Most patients are amazed how quickly these symptoms can improve in just a few days of performing these very simple exercises. 
  • Balance training — Do your headaches throw off your balance? If you experience persistent balance issues, it is important to find a way to restore your sense of balance. Balance issues can increase your risk of falling and sustaining injuries. To prevent further complications and injuries, balance training can be an essential part of your treatment. Balance training is multifaceted, working to improve your health in multiple dimensions. One aspect of balance training is targeted strengthening exercises. By building your core strength, you can improve your body’s overall stability. Postural education is another important dimension of balance training. Poor posture can affect your balance and even contribute to the issues that cause headaches. If you slouch forward while sitting, for example, you’re likely putting excess stress on your neck muscles. Over time, this can lead to tension headaches. Improving your posture can help prevent this kind of issue. During balance training, your physical therapist may also recommend lifestyle adjustments that can help reduce your risk of falling. This can be highly beneficial if you experience balance issues with your headaches.
  • Focused exercises — Exercise is a fundamental element of physical therapy. After assessing your condition, your physical therapist will work with you to develop a tailored exercise regimen. Your exercise plan will generally consist of targeted stretches and strengthening exercises. Stretches can be a great way to alleviate tension and promote flexibility. In many cases, releasing tension around the head provides relief from headaches and other associated symptoms. Strengthening exercises can also be important, especially those targeting the neck and shoulders. Weakness in these regions can exacerbate tension and contribute to headaches. By building strength, you can improve muscular support, which may reduce the frequency of your headaches.
  • Manual therapy — With manual therapy, your physical therapist will use their hands to manipulate and mobilize your tissue. Physical therapists tend to use a variety of manual therapy techniques, such as strain-counterstrain techniques and joint mobilization. The most effective manual therapy techniques will depend on your particular condition. If your headaches are caused by muscle tension, for example, your physical therapist may apply gentle pressure to the affected tissue to relieve stress. Manual therapy is also often used to promote better circulation, which can accelerate healing for injured tissue.

Get relief from your headaches with treatment from Forever Fit Physical Therapy & Wellness

Ready to address your headaches? Forever Fit Physical Therapy & Wellness can offer the remedies you need. Our team takes a comprehensive approach to managing headaches and addressing their symptoms at the source. With extensive experience and a range of effective treatments, we’ll work to help you find lasting relief from your headaches.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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