Chronic Headaches? Physical Therapy Might Just Do the Trick

By: Cole Monson

Your Tension Headaches and Migraines might need our help!

Headaches, like back pain and other common complaints, can be one of the worst to identify and treat. Tension headaches in particular can be caused by many different stressors. A large majority of headaches are a result of the muscles and joints around the upper neck becoming too tight, putting pressure on nerves at the top of your spine.

What can Physical Therapy do?

Your physical therapist will conduct a thorough examination that includes a review of your health history. If it appears that you do have tension-type headaches, your physical therapist will work with you to design a plan of care to meet your goals. In addition to manual therapy techniques, physical therapy treatment might also include the performance of exercises to increase the strength of the neck muscles.

What can I do at home?

  • Chin Tuck Stretch: Gently bend your head forwards with one hand whilst guiding your chin towards your chest with the other until you start to feel a stretch at the back of the neck. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat a few times
  • Lateral Flexion Stretch: Sitting on your left hand, take your right hand over your head to hold your left ear, then gently pull your head to the right – you should feel a stretch down the left side of your neck towards the shoulder.
  • Shoulder Rolls: Gently roll both your shoulders forwards 5 times, then roll them backwards 5 times. This will allow the muscles that you have been stretching to help loosen up as well.