Physical Therapy and Headaches

A common belief amongst patients is that physical therapy primarily focuses on specific body parts, such as rehabilitation of the legs or lower back. But physical therapy can also be utilized to treat neurological conditions, such as headaches. Everyone experiences headaches from time to time, but some individuals suffer from them more frequently than others. If this is the case, then an individual should schedule an appointment with a physical therapist in Farmingdale at Farmingdale Physical Therapy East. Here are two common headache related conditions that can potentially be treated through physical therapy:

Cervicogenic headaches

A cervicogenic headache originates from the structures in the cervical spine (neck area) and radiates into other areas surrounding the head. Like most headaches, it can occur gradually or it could have been caused by an injury. It could also have been caused by stiff joints in the neck, soft tissue tightness, and possible nerve irritation. Pain-related symptoms of this type of headache can include the following:

  • Decreased ability to move the head or neck
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Shoulder/arm pain on the same side of the headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness

Physical Therapy Treatment

If an individual is enduring these symptoms, then physical therapy can be an outstanding way of treating the pain and possibly removing it all together. In order to uncover which structures are creating the discomfort, a patient will undergo a musculoskeletal examination from the physical therapist. This examination will cover:

  • Range of motion in the head/neck
  • Joint mobility
  • Musculature tightness
  • Tenderness
  • Trigger points
  • Strength and endurance
  • Other appropriate tests and measures

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches can be severely painful and sometimes finding an exact remedy can be laborious. Migraines are considered a centrally-mediated pain disorder, meaning there is a disorder in the central nervous system. This also involves the nerves and blood vessels, thus giving the patient neurological pain.

Physical Therapy Treatment

Certain physical therapy techniques can be used to treat a migraine. It’s especially effective once it’s treated at the beginning. These techniques can reduce the pain of the headache, at least temporarily. The physical therapists at Farmingdale Physical Therapy East in Farmingdale can educate the patient on the best possible ways to use common remedies such as relaxation and ice. Relieving tension through proper stretching is also an effective way of treating migraine headaches.

If an individual is searching for a physical therapist in Farmingdale, they should consider filling out a reply to contact the team at FPTE to treat headaches and other issues.

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