How Physical Therapy Treatments Might Help Your Tension Headaches
f. If you have frequent tension headaches, you might want to try physical therapy treatments to see if they help. Tension headaches have different causes, and one of the reasons is a poor posture that puts a strain on your neck and back. Physical therapy may not help with all types of headaches, but when the pain is caused by muscle strain and cramping, a physical therapist might be able to help in the following ways.
Help You Strengthen Back Muscles
A physical therapist can teach you exercises to do at home that gradually make your back stronger so you're able to support your neck and head properly. It's difficult to maintain good posture when you have weak muscles, and poor posture while you sit or stand can cause muscle strain that leads to cramping and tension headaches.
Another benefit of strengthening your upper body muscles is that you'll improve your posture. Good posture improves your appearance and can reduce headaches, neck pain, and back pain.
Teach You Stretching Movements
It's important for your muscles to be balanced and flexible. You might alternate strengthening exercises with stretching movements, so tension leaves your neck and upper back muscles.
Your physical therapist can teach you movements to do on a daily basis to help you stay flexible and movements to do when you feel muscle tension coming on. By stretching the right way, you might relieve pressure on the nerve that causes your headache or neck pain. Taking a break to do stretches during the day can make you feel better and help reduce muscle strain.
Provide Physical Treatments
Physical therapy is more than just exercising. Your therapist can provide hot and cold therapy to relax muscles, give you a deep massage to break apart scar tissue, and manipulate your muscles by hand to stretch and knead the muscles in your neck and back that can trigger headaches.
Teach You How To Work Without Causing Strain
One goal of physical therapy is to improve your posture so you maintain good posture when you're working, walking, and standing. When you're tired, it's easy to slump, but if you have the proper workstation and work chair, you can avoid problems with poor posture.
Your physical therapist can teach you how to work at a computer ergonomically so your neck doesn't have to strain to look at a computer that's too high or too low. You may also be taught how to adjust your chair so your center of gravity is positioned just right and there is no strain on your back.
While you may need to attend a few physical therapy sessions in a clinic, the therapist will also educate you on how to take better care of your neck and back at home so you can avoid or reduce episodes of tension headaches. By exercising and stretching regularly, your back and neck stay flexible and strong so your neck won't be under strain and trigger tension headaches so often.