Headaches

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There are several different musculoskeletal sources of headaches. Some of these include poor posture, limited mobility, poor coordination, strength and endurance of the regions including the craniomandibular (head/jaw), cervical and thoracic spine and shoulder girdle.  Trigger points may be present in all of these regions and contribute to your headaches. Headache types that can be treated with physical therapy include tension-type headaches and cervicogenic headaches.

Tension-Type Headaches:

Dull, diffuse pain that wraps around the head in a ram’s horn type pattern. Often, patients describe a tight band around the head. These headaches can last for 30 minutes to several days. Often, these are related to stress and typically have an onset in the middle or end of the day.

Cervicogenic Headaches:

referred from the cervical spine. This pain is typically one-sided and accompanied by cervical pain and tightness. These headaches may also be accompanied by nausea, dizziness, blurred vision on the same side of the headache, and sensitivity to light

Migraines – pain can be mild to intense. Often, these headaches are accompanied by a visual aura, nausea, or vomiting. It is important you consult your physician for a further workup of your symptoms.

Cluster Headaches:

intense pain located on one side of the head, commonly by the eye. These headaches occur in cyclical patterns, or clusters. It is important you consult your physician for a further workup of your symptoms.

At Alaska Physical Therapy Specialists, we will get to know you and your headache history. Your therapist will perform a thorough examination which will include an assessment of your posture, range of motion, strength, coordination, joint and soft tissue mobility. We will work to identify specific structures that may be causing pain or delaying your healing. We will screen your temporomandibular joint as well to rule out contribution of this region to your headaches. Our treatments have an individualized, patient-centered focus as all your treatment sessions are one-on-one so you can expect to receive optimal care during each treatment session and work toward achieving your goals. We treat the body as a whole and recognize the body is a system with interconnected parts.

Treatments may include manual therapy techniques of soft tissue mobilization/manipulation, soft tissue mobilization and trigger point dry needling, coordination, strength and endurance training of the head, cervical to lumbar spine muscles, education on posture and headache management, and development of an individualized, comprehensive home exercise program.

We look forward to helping you feel and function better and return to your active lifestyle.