More than 47% of the world’s population are affected by headaches. Many people don’t think that a physical therapist is able to help with their headaches, but they are able to diagnose and find the root of the problem. For example, some headaches can come from neck trauma, head injury, jaw disorders, or poor posture.
Take a quick minute and see if you answer yes to any of these following questions.
Do you often:
- Wake up with a headache?
- Grind your teeth at night?
- Get a headache after sitting for a long time at the computer?
- Feel “knots” in your neck, upper back or shoulder?
- Sit most of the day?
Here are 5 quick tips that can help you if you suffer from headaches.
1. Try physical therapy.
Physical Therapists are skilled at identifying the musculoskeletal components that may be contributing to headaches like cervical joint mobility, alignment, posture, soft tissue tension, trigger points, strength and endurance. We can help design exercise programs to help address problems in these areas, perform manual therapy techniques and use modalities to help reduce pain.
2. Stay hydrated.
Dehydration is a common trigger for headaches and staying well hydrated with water can be an easy solution. Avoid drinks with too much caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and/or alcohol which can be headache triggers for some.
3. Get proper sleep
Commit to a routine sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at a routine time. Variations in your sleep schedule, too much or too little sleep, can trigger headaches in some people. Try to relax before going to bed and avoid overstimulation with screen time and avoid alcohol, smoking, sugar, and/or caffeine.
4. Relaxation and breathing techniques
Focus on proper breathing and relaxation techniques to help reduce tense muscles and the negative effects of stress. Relaxation techniques can help you reduce tension in tight muscles that may be contributing to or be the result of chronic headaches. Find a quiet and comfortable place to practice mindfulness. There are many helpful apps that can be helpful in guiding you.
5. Heat and ice
Heat can be used as a natural muscle relaxant for the neck and shoulder tightness and tension that can accompany headaches. Ice can also be applied to the source of the head pain to reduce the pain associated with headaches. Limit to 10-15 min as tolerated. Some people respond better to one vs. the other, but both may be helpful in different locations and/or at different times.
If you have noted yes to any of the questions; then you should contact us at 802-864-3785 to schedule your appointment to have our therapist take a look at your headaches. Your head and brain will thank you when you see a physical therapist for your headaches since they can be so debilitating and draining of your energy.