Dealing with headaches around the clock is incredibly frustrating, and can quickly become debilitating. Whether they are tension headaches or more traditional migraine headaches, waking up with the pain already present in your head only to feel it grow more intense and painful as the day goes on can interfere with whatever you have planned for the day—whether that is a productive day at the office or a fun-filled day with family and friends.
Relying on medication for your migraine headaches can have drastic side effects, as well, that can cause you to feel tired, depressed, or otherwise unable to participate in the activities you love. What’s more, when you rely on medication to deal with the pain of chronic headaches you are not actually helping your body overcome those headaches, but instead are setting yourself up for long-term dependency on those medications. Turning to physical therapy to help address the chronic pain associated with migraine and tension headaches can provide you with a healthy alternative, allowing you to break free from dependency on medications while experiencing actual 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Exercise: Strategic exercises, especially when combined with particular attention to optimal hydration can help to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches.
Plenty of people think of physical therapy as something to turn to following a severe injury or a car accident, and while there are plenty of times that physical therapy will be recommended in those situations, that is not the only use for this incredibly helpful therapy method. Physical therapy treatments are designed to help the body function optimally, and sometimes that means using the core PT strategies like exercise, muscle training and targeted massage, as well as adjustment and at times even acupuncture, to address whatever the primary cause of pain may be—including headaches.
Whether your headaches are bothering you every day, or just most days, the time to put an end to that pain is now. Chronic headaches can interfere with your ability to do just about anything, whether it is work related or a day at home with the family. Put 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. The goal of physical therapy is to help you feel back to being your optimal self, free of the pain and frustrations of whatever it is that was holding you back, without a long-term dependence on pain medication.