We all get them, but what do we do? “wait until they go away.” What if there were a better way to effectively deal with the tension headache and decrease the likelihood of its return throughout the rest of your day. Tension headaches do not arise from specifically a single cause and can be affected by a variety of factors. Stress, diet, posture, and exercise are the leading factors in causing tension headaches.
Enter: Physical Therapy.
A physical therapist is both educated and trained in working with patients suffering from tension headaches. Assessment includes determining which, if any, of the above factors contributing to a tension headache are present in the individual. Range of motion, muscle strength, and flexibility are all items that a PT can measure in order to illustrate possible causes of the headache. The PT can also perform skilled, hands-on manual therapy which will help to decrease muscle tension as needed by the individual.
Posture and exercise are the most direct ways a PT can help an individual with chronic tension headaches. The most common postural suggestion is to pull the shoulders back and lower the upper traps. This helps to decrease upper trap tightness and improve your posture into a more upright position which will help decrease the amount of tension while performing work at the computer. In conclusion, physical therapy can offer solutions for tension headaches that will effectively decrease the intensity and most of all prevent future incidence of the headaches.