Headaches and Migraines
Over 45 million Americans suffer from headaches. There are many different types of headaches and migraines from tension headaches, temporal headaches, cluster headaches, migraines and sinus headaches. While there are many different “triggers” such as alcohol, chocolate, scents and other factors for headaches and migraines, most suffers do have some underlying neck problem that causes their headaches. These are called “cervico-genic headaches”.
Headaches and migraines are often spasms of the arteries in the scalp or base of the neck triggering a whirlwind of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This can cause a variety of symptoms depending on where this is occurring in the head. Most headaches have a component of stress. When stressed, our neck muscles tense on a chronic basis, and with supporting our head all day long, become very irritated. Along with other triggers, this can start a headache or migraine. It is why many headache and migraine sufferers have symptoms later on in the day.
How physical therapy helps
Our trained physical therapists examine for many different factors that can be adding to the causes of your headache or migraine. They look for correct alignment, posture, muscle strength of the neck, upper back and shoulders, joint movement in the neck and much more.
If there are limitations in movement or strength in the neck or upper back, this will be addressed to restore your normal mobility. This also increases blood flow in the area, reducing the common spasms that can occur. In addition, our therapists will train you on exercises and techniques that you can use to prevent future occurrences.