Physical therapists are special health practitioners, but did you know they can treat people from head to toe? That certainly includes treating those dreaded headaches. Read on to learn more about headaches and the power physical therapy has in treating them.
As is true with many things in life, there may be more contributing to your pain than meets the eye. In fact, the point of pain may not be the source. Muscles throughout the body can create myofascial trigger points, often referred to as “knots.” These palpable tender spots are a group of muscle fibers that maintain a semi-contracted state for too long. The fascia, which is a non- contractile tissue, covers nearly every muscle fiber, can also be a part of this point restriction. These restrictions can be very tender to touch and can have a greater influence on how the entire muscle activates. Through years of research, medical professionals have been able to map common referral patterns for each muscle.1
There are a lot of different ways to provide treatment for people dealing with headaches, neck pain, jaw issues, symptoms related to whiplash following a motor vehicle accident, or dizziness; however, when guided by a physical therapist treatment is often supported by research as well as the therapist’s experience. One unique technique to address many of these issues uses a cervical laser headlamp to retrain how you balance your head and neck in space. It often feels like a game which can make therapy more fun and interesting. It also offers patients immediate feedback. But how and why does it work? Let’s explore.
There are many different types of headaches. In fact, the International Classification of Headaches has more than 180 pages! However, there is one type of headache that affects more than just your head and can be helped by a physical therapist: cervicogenic headaches.
Imagine you are at a high school football game watching your son play when you see that hit. The one that you know doesn’t look right. His head was down and he drove right into someone, or the one that he went helmet to helmet with an opponent, or even the one where his head bounced off the ground. The next thing you know, the school’s athletic trainer calls you down from the stands to tell you that your son has suffered a concussion.
The topic of concussions is on the rise. Concussions don’t just happen to football players, they can occur in any sport. Knowing some of the signs and symptoms to watch out for and what to do for them is essential to the health of your son or daughter. (more…)
Every year in October, we celebrate National Physical Therapy Month. There are many individuals that have seen a physical therapist (PT) for common reasons such as low back pain or knee pain. There are many different conditions, however, that PTs may treat that you may not be aware of. In order to keep up their professional license, PTs are required to take continuing education courses. Often, these courses may give a therapist a special set of skills for treating a certain condition or diagnosis. The following is a list of conditions that many individuals may not be aware that can be treated by a PT. (more…)
Treating a patient who reports frequent headaches is one of my favorite diagnoses to treat. Why do I love treating headaches so much? I love treating headaches because physical therapy can be so effective in providing the patient with relief quickly, and relief from a headache problem is a big deal for someone who suffers from them. (more…)
Whiplash is a term used to describe an injury to the neck area that usually involves a rapid movement into extension and flexion, such as in a car accident. Whiplash is the most common non-fatal injury associated with a motor vehicle accident and can even occur at speeds of less than 15 miles per hour. Symptoms of neck stiffness and pain usually appear in the days following the accident and can last for several months, often becoming chronic in 25% of individuals. (more…)