Chances are you have experienced a headache at least once in your life. Unfortunately, this is one affliction that just about no one is immune to. What’s even worse, however, is that a large percentage of the population faces headaches at such a frequent rate that going a full day without a headache may start to feel like a dream.
Headaches can put a major damper on your day, sucking the fun out of planned activities and making it difficult to concentrate on work or anything else that you are facing. While many people turn to over the counter medications as a means of addressing the lingering pain associated with headaches, these medications do very little to help the headache actually go away.
Solving the mystery of how to overcome regular headaches comes down to understanding why the headaches are forming. In many situations, physical therapy can be used to reduce the frequency and severity of chronic headaches. However, you must be able to identify what is causing your headaches before physical therapy will be able to help.
Types of Headaches and How Physical Therapy Can Help
There are several predominant types of headaches, and step one of treating your headache is identifying what type of headache you are experiencing. Common types of headaches include:
- Tension headaches
- Migraine headaches
- Stress-related headaches
- Nutrient-deficient / dehydration headaches
Working with a physical therapist can help you to address chronic pain associated with tension, stress-related, and migraine headaches. Physical therapy for headaches will often incorporate a combination of massage therapy, guided stretching and muscle training, and additional therapeutic techniques, like hot and cold therapy and chiropractic adjustment.
Headaches can be identified based on how frequently they develop, the severity of the pain, and where in the head the pain is experienced. Physical therapy is often recommended for headaches that develop with regular frequency—at least once or twice per week, at least.
While many people turn to medication for headache relief, medications merely dull the pain of the headache, and physical therapy reduces the likelihood of headaches returning in the future by correcting the issue that caused the problem in the first place. Targeted massage and stretching can alleviate tension in the neck, back, and shoulders, which can reduce the severity of tension headaches. Stress related headaches are often associated with tension, as well, while migraine headaches could be the result of an imbalance of hormones or nutrient deficiency.
You can start working to reduce the pain of headaches at home by following a few simple strategies.
Drinking plenty of water can help to reduce your risk of dehydration, which, like other nutritional deficiencies, can frequently lead to headaches. Engaging in healthy activities like daily yoga practice can help you to alleviate tension, which can also help to reduce the severity and frequency of your headaches. Prior to beginning any new treatment program for your headaches, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor.
Don’t deal with headaches any more often than you have to. Working with a Reneu Sport + Health physical therapist can help you to make headaches a thing of your past. For help overcoming your headaches, contact us.