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Stress Related Headaches Can Be Bothersome - Fortunately, PT Can Help

Discover Relief for Your Headaches Today!

Headaches are a common issue that can plague everyone from pre-teens to retirees. However, when recurrent tension or stress-related headaches make it difficult to get through your day, physical therapy may be needed to provide long-lasting pain relief.

Physical therapy can help you overcome stress-related headaches. In fact, as stated by Choose PT,  “There is an effective treatment for almost every type of headache.” Working with a physical therapist can help you identify tension-reducing exercises and help you find long-term relief from headaches without the need to rely on pain medication.

Our experienced physical therapists have the skills needed to target the root cause of your headaches. Additionally, they can create a tailored treatment plan that is safe and effective. Tired of dealing with irritating and painful headaches? Keep reading to learn how to benefit from physical therapy.

Why am I experiencing headaches?

The most common type of headache experienced by adolescents and adults is tension headaches—sometimes referred to as stress-related headaches. This type of headache occurs when the muscles of the scalp and neck are tensed and then contracted.

Stress is the easy answer to this question, but in reality, it's a lot more complicated than that. Stress can manifest itself in all kinds of ways; however, finding ways to deal with stress is not always an option.

Stress can build from a wide range of activities, and some of those activities may be things that you really enjoy doing, but that doesn't mean that they don't weigh on you, creating an added level of pressure that can manifest in painful headaches.

If you have tension headaches, you will most likely feel that the pain begins at the back of your neck before it rises to the top of your head and eventually causes pain and discomfort behind your eyes. It's also common to experience tension headache pain in your cheeks, jaw, and even down your shoulders.

Some common causes of a tension headache include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Fatigue
  • Arthritis
  • Poor posture
  • Hair pulled back tightly
  • Stress

Other common types of headaches that may cause recurrent pain and discomfort include sinus headaches, caffeine headaches, migraine headaches, hormonal headaches, post-traumatic headaches, and cluster headaches.

Stress is a common trigger for tension and migraine headaches. Rather than stressing ways you can avoid stress, it may be more helpful to think about strategies that will help ease headaches once you develop—as well as stress-reduction techniques that may prevent stress from reaching your head first.

How can a physical therapist help?

Physical therapy can help to reduce the pain associated with headaches while working to restore proper function and a full range of motion in the neck and shoulder areas.

Typically, there are 2 different types of physical therapy treatments that are ideal for relieving chronic headaches, these include:

Active Therapies

  • Range-of-motion exercises
  • Low-impact aerobics
  • Pain relief exercises
  • Muscular releases
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Stretching

Passive Therapies

  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Ultrasound
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS
  • Ultrasound
  • Massage therapy
  • Alternating heat and ice therapy

Depending on the severity and cause of your headaches, our physical therapist may suggest a combination of physical therapy treatment methods to provide pain relief. However, because each person responds differently to headache pain, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no “one size fits all” treatment plan.

Because physical therapy targets the muscles and joints, it is an effective treatment option for those who experience tension headaches or stress-related headaches, and headache pain that radiates down into the jaw, neck, and shoulder areas.

Over time, our physical therapist aims to not only reduce your pain but hopefully prevent recurring headaches altogether. The primary goal of physical therapy is to not only provide pain relief but to increase mobility, improve posture, and help strengthen the muscles that control your neck, shoulders, and upper back areas.

With all physical therapy treatment plans, our patients will receive helpful educational information that will help them to complete pain relief exercises at home to supplement in-office visits.

Consult with a physical therapist today!

If you or your loved one have had recurrent headaches, you can find quick and effective pain relief with regular physical therapy.

Are you interested in learning more about the many benefits of physical therapy for tension headaches? Call FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers of Lehi, UT today, and be sure to schedule an initial consultation with one of our friendly physical therapists!