What’s a headache?

What’s a headache?

September 22, 2022

A headache is a pain or discomfort that occurs in the head or neck area. Headaches are a common complaint and can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, dehydration, sinus problems, medication overuse, and more serious underlying medical conditions.

Headaches can be classified into two types:

1. Primary Headaches: They are not caused by any underlying medical condition, but are a condition in themselves. Examples of primary headaches include tension headaches, migraine headaches, and cluster headaches.

2. Secondary Headaches: They are caused by an underlying medical condition, disease, or injury to the head or neck. Examples of secondary headaches include concussion, brain tumors, sinus infections, and meningitis among others.

Symptoms and severity of a headache can vary. Common symptoms associated with headaches include throbbing or dull pain, sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, vomiting, and auras (visual disturbances).

Treatment of headaches may depend on the cause and severity of the symptoms. Primary headaches can often be managed with over-the-counter medication, relaxation techniques, and lifestyle changes. In some cases, prescription medication and preventative treatment may be indicated.

In cases of secondary headaches, treatment is aimed at managing the underlying condition or disease. Imaging studies (x-rays, CT scans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, etc.) may be necessary to identify the underlying cause.

If headaches occur frequently or are severe, it is important to seek medical advice to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

Physical therapy can be an effective treatment option for some types of headaches. Specifically, physical therapy can be helpful for headaches that are related to muscle tension, neck and shoulder issues, and poor posture. Physical therapy may include a range of treatments aimed at reducing headaches which can include:

1. Manual Therapy: Physical therapists may use manual therapy, such as massage or joint mobilization, to help relieve tension and stiffness in the neck and shoulder muscles that may contribute to headaches.

2. Stretching and Exercise: Physical therapists may prescribe exercises to stretch and strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles, improve range of motion, and correct posture.

3. Relaxation Techniques: Physical therapists may teach relaxation techniques including deep breathing exercises, meditation, and stress reduction strategies to reduce the risk of developing stress-related headaches.

4. Education: Physical therapists may educate patients on ergonomics and body mechanics related to work and activities of daily living to help prevent future headaches.

5. Postural Training: Physical therapists may assess a patient’s posture and make recommendations for improved posture habits targeting optimal spine alignment and neck stability.

6. Dry needling can work great at reducing muscle tension and pain.

Overall, physical therapy can provide an alternative or complementary approach to the treatment of headaches. By addressing the underlying muscle tension, joint dysfunction, and postural abnormalities, physical therapy can help reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches, improve mobility and posture, and improve quality of life.

Contact us today for a consultation!

You can call 317-854-6433.

Email us at doc@kaeoconsulting.us 

Visit our website at https://kaeophysicaltherapy.com 

Stop by the office, located at

39 N US HWY 31

Whiteland, IN 46184

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