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Did You Know a Physical Therapist Can Help with Headaches?

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

It’s true! And we’re highly effective at treating them to get people relief and prevent them from becoming debilitating and limiting your life. Deciding if physical therapy is the right path for treating your headaches is very simple. We’ll ask where you feel your headaches most and from that answer we can determine if PT is right for you.

Suboccipital headaches or “Tension” headaches are located at the base of the skull and typically wrap around to the front. Do your headaches follow this pattern? Do they tend to gradually begin and progress throughout the day? This is another telltale sign that physical therapists can address your headaches and find you relief.

Focus of Treatment

An assessment of your mobility and strength will determine where you may be stiff, tight, and/or weak that could be leading to the tension placed on the muscles attaching to your head and creating the headaches you’re experiencing. A lot of times our posture, especially when we maintain them for prolonged periods, leads to muscle tension of those connecting our shoulders and upper back to our head.

Treatment will oftentimes include manual techniques to decrease muscle tension, joint stiffness, and increase flexibility to the neck and shoulder muscles. In order to train the muscles to move differently and more efficiently, postural training will follow and be very important for you to continue working on between sessions.

The most important part of treatment will be training new movement patterns and postures as well as strengthening the muscles that help you maintain good upright posture to decrease further strain of the muscles and return of your headaches in the future.

Preventing Headaches

If your headaches are in fact, coming from tension at the suboccipital region, the best way to prevent their return is to practice good posture. We all can admit our posture could use some work. In a technological world, we are all put in positions where we are bent over our phones, computers, paperwork, and the list goes on, all day long every day.

As someone that isn’t a fan of technology or learning how to use technology, I have always said that computers/phones will be the death of us. Obviously, they may not actually kill us, but the constant bending over, slouched posture that we utilize most of the day is hard on our bodies! It decreases our ability to breathe and fill our lunges, limits our blood flow throughout our body, and increases stress to our neck, backs, and hips.

If you can work on ONE thing every day, work on your posture! If you have a desk or driving job, try to sit up and squeeze your shoulder blades or give yourself a double chin, or bend backwards over your chair every 30 minutes for 30 seconds. The relief you will feel to stretch, take pressure off your body, and take a deep breath will be exhilarating and may even allow you to focus better and get more done.

Read more about how posture affects your body by clicking here.

Are YOU in Need of Physical Therapist for your Headaches?

If it’s you that is struggling with debilitating headaches that limit your ability to complete your work or get through a day, then today is the day to take action! Set up a Free phone consultation and let’s talk about what you have going on and see what the next best steps are for you! Here’s the link!

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