By Dave Wieber, PT, ATC, MTC
We see many headaches here at Wieber Physical Therapy. They are stemming from 3 main categories: migraine headaches, muscle tension headaches, and mechanical headaches.
We have all heard of migraines; they can be varied but have signs and symptoms that are more vascular and system related. You may get an aura, or visual impairments. The visual changes come in many forms: only being able to only see half of an image, right or left, seeing halo’s, stars, or just being very light sensitive. These headaches we as therapists don’t have much success with unless they start with a muscle tension headache first and then progress to the migraine.
A muscle tension headache comes from, as the name implies, muscle tension and fascial tension. The tension can come from many areas. A very common headache comes from poor posture. As gravity pushes down on our body our alignment matters. If we have forward shoulders and head then gravity tries to bend us forward. Our counter force creates a constant strain on our system and creates overload, and can then create a headache. Physical Therapy can help with postural training and relaxation exercises. We can do fascial work and other muscle release techniques.
The headache that we have the quickest results with are what we call mechanical headaches. This means that part of our neck is not moving well or is stuck. We can do mobilization and manipulation which creates a more normal moving spine and decreases the headache. these headaches present mostly on one side of the head and seem to get worse with a certain motion. If you have these symptoms it is very helpful to contact a therapist and set up an evaluation. If you would like to ask questions regarding headaches feel free to give our office a call.