Did you know that some headaches are caused by musculoskeletal problems? The physical therapists at Steppin' Up Physical Therapy understand that when certain muscles are impaired, they always send pain into certain areas of the body. These are called "specific referral patterns."
Physical therapists can find the muscle that is causing a recurring headache and try to change the situation through therapy, thereby relieving the patient of headaches.
- Tension headaches usually result from tight muscles. The tight muscles are often found in the upper back, the neck, the scalp, jaw, and face. Sometimes poor posture can cause these muscles to tighten up too much. Sometimes it is caused by stress. Other times, it has to do with a specific position repeated over and over, such as in sports or at a job. Physical therapists try to find out where the tight muscle is, what caused it, and then they try to relieve it using various methods.
- Dry needling is one effective method the therapists at Steppin' Up use to relax tight muscles. Tight muscles usually have knots in them. The therapist will find the knot and insert a dry needle into the knot. This involves absolutely no medicine. The insertion of the needle into the correct area results in the muscle contracting and then relaxing. Dry needling is a very effective and safe method of relieving tension headaches. Patients also claim it is comfortable.
Of course, if the tight muscles causing a recurring headache come from poor posture, the patient must be instructed on how to maintain good posture, whether at the computer or sitting in an easy chair. Preventing the muscles from becoming too tight is the key to preventing the headaches. Physical therapists are interested in looking for ways to change things in the musculoskeletal system so the patient will be healthier and stronger.
You can listen to one of Steppin' Up's therapists talk about the relation of physical therapy and headaches in this short video.
Are you a physical therapist or do you work in that field? Please contact us to find out what positions are available. And if interested in learning more about this and related topics, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.
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