Are Stress-Related Headaches Bringing You Down? Physical Therapy Can Help You Find Relief

Stress related headaches can put a huge damper on your quality of life, interfering with your ability to do your job, to enjoy time with your family, or to go about your business in just about any way. As headaches interfere with your ability to engage in regular tasks, things can start to add up and you may soon start to feel like you are totally losing control of your ability to manage even the most basic tasks—which in turn can add more stress to your plate, and in turn leave you pre-disposed to have even longer, more intense stress-related headaches. It is a vicious cycle, but there is a way to break out of it.

Physical therapy can help you to overcome stress related headaches. Working with a physical therapist can help you identify exercises that reduce tension and help you find long-term relief from headaches, without the need for reliance on pain medications.

What Causes Stress Related Headaches?

The easy answer to this question is stress, but in reality the answer is a lot more complicated than that. Stress can manifest in all sorts of ways, and finding ways around the stress isn’t always an option. Stress can build from a wide array of activities, and some of those activities may be things that you genuinely enjoy doing, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t weighing on you, creating an added level of pressure that can manifest in painful headaches.

Stress is a common trigger for tension and migraine headaches. Rather than stressing about ways that you can outright avoid stress, it may be more helpful to think about strategies that will help alleviate headaches once they develop—as well as stress reduction techniques that may prevent the stress from reaching your head in the first place.

Relaxation Techniques for Headache Relief

If stress is causing headaches to develop in your life, then finding ways to relax to reduce the build-up of that stress may be helpful. Some of the most common forms of stress reduction therapy include meditation, yoga, tai chi and deep breathing techniques. Other habits that can also sometimes help to alleviate stress include listening to music, dancing, engaging in exercise, reading a book, or spending time with loved ones—especially pets!

Here are a few lifestyle habits that are shown to reduce stress:

  • Simply whatever is possible. While it sometimes feels that the only way to manage stress is to squeeze as much into a day so that you can tackle your endless to do list, sometimes what you actually need is to simplify your life. Ask yourself what really needs to be done and focus on that.
  • Eat as healthy as possible. What you put into your body makes a big impact on what your body is able to handle. Try eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains to help prepare your body for the stress you need it to handle.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep isn’t something that can be compromised on when it comes to managing stress. Staying up late to get a task done is only going to lead to more stress. Try to get a sufficient amount of sleep daily so that you can handle what’s ahead.

One of the most effective things that you can do to help reduce the impact that stress has on your life is to work on adjusting the way that you react to stressors. Changing your attitude and becoming more open to things that would have previously stressed you out can significantly help improve the way your body copes with stressful events. Try making simple shifts in the way that you think about stressful events. Simply shift from considering something as “impossible” to “tough, but possible.” Look at ways that you can rise to a challenge versus how overwhelming the challenge feels.

Physical Therapy for Stress Headaches

If you are experiencing chronic headaches as a result of stress, then physical therapy may be able to help you find relief from that pain. In many cases stress headaches will develop as a result of tension that builds up in the neck and back. Working with a physical therapist can help you to target areas of tension, thereby helping to alleviate pain and improve quality of life.

There are several strategies that physical therapists often use to help with stress headaches. These include:

  • Hot and cold therapy: Applying hot and cold compresses in an alternating rotation can help to reduce tension and alleviate pain.
  • Massage: Identifying areas that have tension build up and targeting them with massage therapy can help to alleviate head pain.
  • Manual exercises: Your physical therapist can help you to identify exercises that will help you reduce tension naturally by improving your range of motion and stretching your muscles in a relaxing manner.

If you are experiencing regular headaches as a result of stress, including tension or migraine headaches, then it may be helpful to contact your physical therapist to learn about therapeutic options that can help you experience relief from your pain. Contact TheraFit today to schedule a consultation and to get started.

Nutrition Tips To Decrease Pain and Inflammation

Nutrition plays a crucial role in preventing and eliminating pain and inflammation in the body. It’s important to understand what pain and inflammation are, the causes and symptoms, and how both nutrition and physical therapy can help. If you’re experiencing pain and inflammation in your joints, the cause could be more obvious than you think. Contact TheraFit to learn more about how we can help alleviate your pain and inflammation.

Understanding Pain and Inflammation

Pain and inflammation are often connected. Inflammation is the body’s natural response when it’s trying to heal or protect itself after an injury. Usually this a good thing, however, inflammation is actually harmful when it becomes a chronic condition. According to Harvard Health, chronic inflammation can also lead to a variety of health ailments such as heart disease and diabetes.

Recognizing Pain and Inflammation – Causes & Symptoms

Did you know the food you eat may be a contributing factor to increased inflammation throughout your body? Nutrition plays a big part in the amount of pain and inflammation you might have. Inflammation can be caused by many different kinds of foods. Here are some of the most common foods that contribute to inflammation:

  • Added Sugar – Foods with added sugar that isn’t naturally occurring can increase inflammation. Regular table sugar and corn syrup with high-fructose are the two main types of added sugar.
  • Pasta & White Bread – These refined carbs or “empty calories” can cause excessive weight gain, which can also lead to inflammation.
  • Processed Meats – Sausage, bacon, and smoked meats are usually processed and contain lots of extra sodium. Eating too much processed meat can cause inflammation.

Food is not the only culprit when it comes to pain and inflammation – even what you drink plays a role. Take soda, for instance. Sodas contain lots of unhealthy preservatives such as sodium benzoate, not to mention high amounts of sugar. Excessive alcohol drinking should also be avoided as it can cause issues with inflammation as well.

Just like there are plenty of foods to limit or avoid in your diet, there are also a ton of healthy foods to eat that can help decrease your chances of experiencing pain and inflammation.

  • Garlic – Garlic alone may not be very appetizing, but it can add flavor to many everyday meals. Garlic contains diallyl disulfide, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Fish – Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which naturally reduce inflammation. Cod, tuna, salmon, bass, and halibut are all excellent choices.
  • Beans – Beans are great for easing inflammation and are also sources of protein and fiber. There are plenty of different kinds to try, such as pinto, garbanzo, black, or red beans.

There are several symptoms associated with inflammation. These often include swelling, redness, joint pain and stiffness. If you’re suffering from pain and inflammation changing your diet could improve your muscles, joints, and overall health.

How Can Physical Therapy Help You?

Changing your diet is a wonderful start, but it may not be enough to eliminate chronic inflammation and pain. Physical therapy may be able to help reduce or even eliminate the pain you’re experiencing. Physical therapists use several methods to help. A few techniques would be manual therapy, dry needling, or ultrasound treatments. They may also use heat or ice therapy. A physical therapist might even give you stretching and motion exercises you can do at home to better your chances of having a successful treatment!

Monitoring what you eat and drink every day may be able to drastically decrease the pain and inflammation you’re experiencing. Physical therapy is a great option as well. The American Physical Therapy Association states that there is a clear link between pain and nutrition. It’s important to find a physical therapist with experience in treating pain and inflammation. Call TheraFit today to learn more information.

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Opioid Addiction: Why Taking Painkillers For Arthritis Pain is Doing You More Harm Than Good

Are you taking opioids for your arthritis pain? Did you know that opioids like morphine and oxycodone are actually making your arthritis worse? Drugs like these alter your perception of pain, but they don’t relieve it. So if you’re taking an opioid and believe it’s relieving your pain, know that it’s actually doing nothing to improve the symptoms of your arthritis. Opioids are not the only option you have to get relief from arthritis! Call TheraFit to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist to learn more about how treatment can help.

How Arthritis Happens

Osteoarthritis, or “arthritis,” is a degenerative condition that affects the joints. The connecting joints between bones are made of cartilage, and if that cartilage becomes weak or depleted, it can cause bones to grind and scrape together. One of the main causes of arthritis is simply getting older; our joints just wear out as we age and that’s normal. However, there are other factors like genetics, repetitive physical jobs, playing high-impact sports, or being overweight, which can increase a person’s chances of developing arthritis. This condition also affects weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees, but it’s common for it to also develop in many other joints.

How To Know If You Have Arthritis

Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt like a joint or two was stiff? The most common symptom of arthritis is pain in the joint or joints that have lost too much cartilage. Or what about every day activities, do you notice that simple tasks like bending down are painful for you? Activities that use an affected joint will cause pain; the joint will hurt if you touch it or apply pressure to it. A joint can also be considered arthritic if it makes cracking and popping noises when it is used. As a defense mechanism, your body might try to grow new bone structure in the affected joint, which will be extremely painful.

Physical Therapy Can Help Arthritis

As previously stated, opioids can alter how you perceive pain so that your brain thinks you are no longer suffering from the effects of arthritis. This is not a long-term fix. Your bones are still grinding together, your cartilage is being worn down, and ultimately your condition is worsening. Before you know it, you’ll be in need of an even stronger painkiller, and most likely a pretty expensive surgery down the road.

There are better options out there to relieve arthritis pain. Physical therapy is one of them! Physical therapy can help you get rid of painkillers once and for all, and also keep you from spending thousands for surgery. A physical therapist will examine you and determine what activities trigger your pain symptoms. From there, he or she will create a customized exercise program that will help support your joint structures, and ultimately relieve your arthritis pain.

A physical therapist will be able to show you how to adjust your work area and home so that you can put less stress on the impacted joints. There are a multitude of different therapies, but manual therapy (targeted massage of painful joints) will probably be included in your treatment.

Your physical therapy treatment will also include an exercise plan for you to do at home to improve your health. Losing weight can also be an effective way to relieve arthritis pain, so if you’re overweight, your therapist might include weight loss exercises and advice on nutrition in your exercise plan. It won’t all be on you to bear though, your physical therapist will be there to keep you motivated throughout your entire treatment!

Opioids carry significant health risks. While they may temporarily numb the pain of arthritis, they do nothing to slow it down. It’s time to try physical therapy, a safe and effective alternative that will improve your symptoms with no risk to you. Call Therafit today to get your appointment set up with your physical therapist, and get back to living a pain-free life.

Losing Weight Through Interval Training

Are you one of those people who do various workouts for an hour or more every day, 7 days a week, but fail to see any real results? That’s because exercising at a steady rate doesn’t yield the same results as interval training does.

Interval training has been around for years, but it has recently gained a lot of attention as a way to increase fat loss. Read on to learn more about interval training, why it works, and the many ways you can seamlessly incorporate it into your everyday exercise routine.

Interval Training Defined

High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a kind of training that involves doing quick, intense bursts of exercise and utilizing a shorter recovery period. By alternating your workout activity levels between bursts of intensity and moderate exercise, you can keep your heart rate at a higher level while simultaneously increasing your need for oxygen. An example of a basic interval routine could include moderate walking for 2 or 3 minutes followed by 30 to 60 seconds of jogging or running.

According to Healthline, “High-intensity interval training is a very efficient way to exercise and may help you burn more calories than you would with other forms of exercise. Some of the calories burned from high-intensity intervals come from a higher metabolism, which lasts for hours after exercise. Overall, HIIT produces many of the same health benefits as other forms of exercise in a shorter amount of time.”

Why Does It Work So Well?

Interval training is successful because you will burn more calories during the actual workout while increasing the overall amount of fat you burn for the rest of the day. The “afterburn effect” causes a post-exercise consumption of oxygen that increases more fat to be burned than a regular workout would allow.

Interval training also works because it only requires about half an hour per workout, works for every fitness level, and can be done practically anywhere!

Running & Interval Workouts

One really cool thing about interval training is that the difficulty level is totally up to you. Your interval training could include a simple routine of walking for 2 minutes and then running for 1 minute. Your overall workout would be about half an hour. A more difficult interval routine could include jogging slowly for 2 minutes and then running for 4 minutes. You could complete this 5 times in half an hour. There are tons of other ways to set your preferred difficulty level, so get creative!

Using A Stationary Bike & Interval Workouts

Biking is another fun exercise method you can incorporate interval training into. Before starting a workout on a stationary bike, make sure the resistance level on the bike is high enough so that you don’t pick up speed too quickly and risk your legs spinning out of control during the harder part of the workout.

Begin your workout with a steady 5 minute warm-up at a moderate pace. Then do 30 seconds of intense pedaling followed by 30 seconds of easy pedaling. This should be repeated 4 or 5 times, then increase each rep to 1 minute of intensity followed by 1 minute of easy pedaling. This is another workout that may only take 30 minutes.

Swimming & Interval Workouts

Swimming is a great way to get an intense workout while exerting minimal strain on bones, joints, and tendons. It’s also another exercise method that allows for interval training. However, instead of timing your intense portions of the workout, it may be easier to divide swimming workouts into laps. For example, you could swim for 25 meters as quickly as possible, and then backstroke 25 meters at a slower, more leisurely pace.

Jumping Rope & Interval Training

Jumping rope isn’t just for grade school children. This is a great way to get your heart rate up! The easiest jump rope interval workout is to simply pick a number of reps. You could jump 100 times and then rest for 1 minute. Repeat this until you reach 1,000 jumps. You could also time yourself to get in as many jumps as possible in 30 seconds before resting for 60 seconds. Just 20-30 minutes would provide a fairly intense workout and help you lose more weight!

Contact Our Office To Learn More

There are so many different ways to stay active while incorporating high-intensity interval training into your routine. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to learn how this kind of training works, and it doesn’t take much to get used to. If you’d like to talk with a physical therapist at our office about interval training and how it can help you cut more fat, contact our office today or visit us in Hazel Green, AL Fayetteville, TN!

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Weightlifting or Cardio: How To Know Which One Is Best For You

Cardio exercise and weightlifting hold equally important places when it comes to physical therapy and exercising for good health. The only way to know which of the two is the better choice is to know what your end goal is. If building up stamina and endurance is your end goal, the best choice would definitely be cardio exercise. If building mass or regaining physical strength is your end goal, the best choice for you would be weightlifting.

However, just because you choose one doesn’t mean you should totally ditch the other! Even though your primary focus may revolve around one type of exercise, it is extremely important to include the other in your daily workout plan as well.

Read on to learn more about cardio and weightlifting exercises, and how a physical therapist can help you figure out how to get a good balance in between the two for your daily workout schedule.

Why Is Cardio Important?

Cardio exercises, or “aerobic exercise” as it’s also commonly referred to as, involves any kind of physical activity that increases your blood flow and gets your heart rate up. It’s recommended to get at least two and a half hours of cardio exercise per week. Some examples of cardio activities are as follows.

  • Speed walking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Running

According to Healthline, “Aerobic exercise is recommended by the American Heart Association and by most doctors to people with, or at risk for, heart disease. That’s because exercise strengthens your heart and helps it more efficiently pump blood throughout the body. Cardiovascular exercise can also help lower blood pressure, and keep your arteries clear by raising “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and lowering “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood.”

There are tons of benefits to cardiovascular exercise as well! A few are listed below.

  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps regulate blood sugar
  • Reduces chronic pain symptoms
  • Regulates sleep
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Improves mood

If you want to learn more about cardiovascular exercise and how to safely incorporate them into your daily routine, contact our office today. One of our skilled physical therapists will be able to assess your body, strength and goals, and help create the most effective, efficient workout routine possible.

Why Is Weightlifting Important?

It is a good idea for a person who is focusing on endurance to work a few weightlifting exercises into their routine. The same is true for people who are weightlifting. You will only go so far with your progress without some degree of endurance. The key is to create a healthy balance between the two, and remember to constantly change your workouts so your body does not fall into a routine!

One common misconception people have about weightlifting is that it’s only meant for those who are trying to build bigger, bulky muscles. This isn’t true at all. In fact, according to Forbes, “weightlifting can create non-bulky muscles that have stronger thicker fibers, which with power training have shown to enhance performance in endurance sports.” You don’t have to be a wrestler or professional athlete to lift weights!

Just like cardio exercise, there is a whole list of benefits that come with weight training! A few are as follows:

  • Building muscles combat the buildup of fat
  • Improves mood
  • Lowers risk of developing diseases such as diabetes
  • Improves heart health
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Speeds up metabolism
  • Stimulates bone tissue growth

If you want to learn more about weightlifting and how to make sure you’re lifting the right amount for your body, a physical therapist can help you out!

Contact Our Office Today

When it comes to setting fitness goals, changing things up and keeping them interesting is key! Make sure that you’re trying out new exercises to challenge yourself. Push your limits on occasion to find out just how well you are doing. A physical therapist can assess your current abilities and help you figure out the correct and safest plan of action when it comes to your fitness goals.

You may be surprised at your progress once you determine what type of exercises will best fit your needs, whether your workout ends up being more cardio heavy, or more oriented around lifting weights. Be sure to decide on a few goals first, such as “I want to lose weight and build muscle!” or “I want to improve my overall health.” Once you have those answers, you’re off to a great start!

Contact TheraFit offices in Hazel Green, AL and Fayetteville, TN today for more information. We’re here to help make your fitness journey a successful one!

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Relieve Your Arthritis Pains with Physical Therapy Treatments

Are you suffering from the aches, pains, and stiffness of arthritis? If so, you’re not alone. There are millions of people who live with arthritis, and it is no secret that it can limit your life. Fortunately, participating in regular physical therapy treatments can help manage your arthritis pain and reduce your symptoms. For more information on how our services can decrease or even eliminate your pain altogether, contact our office today!

What will I get out of a physical therapy program?

Physical therapy can improve your daily life by making it easier to live with arthritis. Just a few of the many ways this is accomplished is by:

  • Learning how to correctly use devices. A trained physical therapist can help you learn how to use orthotics, walkers, and any other assistive device correctly. This will help lessen the strain on joints when you move and ensure that you are using the devices safely.
  • Increasing your range of motion. A physical therapy program can help reduce stiffness by keeping both your muscles and ligaments loose. This will lessen your pain and improve your overall range of mobility.
  • Strengthening your muscles. When the muscles that surround and support your aching joints are stronger and more flexible, your arthritis pain will be much less severe. Physical therapy techniques can be used to increase strength, which in turn will relieve pain.

What exactly is physical therapy?

Unfortunately, there is not yet a known cure for arthritis. Physical therapy won’t reverse your arthritic condition, but it can help slow the process and decrease symptoms. Essentially, physical therapy can help you live more comfortably with your condition.

Your physical therapist will prescribe targeted exercises and stretches that will keep joints mobile and pain-free. He or she may also help you maintain a healthy body weight as needed, in order to decrease unnecessary strain on your joints.

Physical therapy may also help you avoid taking excessive amounts of medication in order to reduce your pain. A physical therapist is trained to evaluate your condition and provide the correct exercises to meet your needs. A common physical therapy exercise for arthritis patients is aquatic therapy, as working out in water allows for a soothing and non-impact exercise.

How can diet affect my arthritis?

Did you know that a healthy diet can help decrease arthritis pains? When you are experiencing pain and inflammation, it is important to stay away from foods containing high levels of sugar, MSG, and refined carbs. Some foods that can help ease your symptoms include:

  • Ginger. Ginger may be able to help reduce inflammation and alleviate arthritis pain. It also adds incredible flavor to almost any food, including soups, fruits, veggies, and meat.
  • Soy. Soy is high in protein and low in fat, and it is also a great tasting way to fight inflammation. You can get your soy through tofu, soy milk, or roasted soybeans.
  • Broccoli. Broccoli has an ingredient called sulforaphane, which has the ability to slow down or even prevent osteoarthritis. Broccoli is great served hot or cold, in salads, or as a casserole.
  • Walnuts. Much like the nutrients you find in fish, walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation. Walnuts can be eaten alone or added to almost any sweet or salty dish.

The goals of a physical therapist:

Physical therapists are trained in multiple different methods of treatment. One of the most common treatment methods for arthritis is massage, as it is a great way to loosen up the stiff or inflamed muscles and tendons around the arthritic joint(s). Additional treatments may include ice and heat therapies, ultrasound, or laser therapy as your physical therapist deems fit. These all help in decreasing inflammation, relieving pain, and loosening up tight muscles.

One of the many goals of a physical therapist is to help you achieve the most active lifestyle possible for your condition. Just because you have arthritis doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the activities you love! Your physical therapist will design an individualized treatment plan for you, in order to keep your tendons, muscles, and joints working together in harmony.

Are you ready to relieve your arthritis pains? Contact our office today to get started on your journey toward long-lasting relief!

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What’s the Difference Between Sprains and Strains?

It is a common misconception that “sprains” and “strains” are interchangeable terms. In reality, there are some key differences between the two. In order to understand how they differ, it is important to first understand what ligaments and tendons are.

Ligaments connect bones to bones within a joint, while tendons connect bones to muscles. When you experience a sprain, you are tearing or overstretching a ligament. Conversely, when you experience a strain, you are tearing or overstretching a tendon.

If you have recently sustained a sprain or strain, or you believe you may have, don’t hesitate to contact us to consult with a physical therapist. We’ll determine the best course of treatment for your needs and get you started on the road to recovery!

Treating sprains and strains:

Mild sprains and strains are often treated with the RICE technique: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. However, when the RICE technique doesn’t work, or if pain is unbearable and/or constant, it is in your best interest to visit a doctor. A doctor may take an X-ray to see if there are any breaks in the bone. If there are no breaks found, the diagnosis is usually a strain or sprain.

Physical therapy is an effective method for treating sprains and strains. No matter how you incurred your injury, our dedicated physical therapists can play a major role in your comeback. One of our licensed physical therapists will use a mix of passive and active treatments to reduce pain, improve strength, and increase coordination. Passive treatments may include massage, ice and heat therapies, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound. Active treatments include targeted stretches and exercises.

A very common type of ligament sprain is an ACL tear, which physical therapy has been proven successful in treating. It has also been proven successful in treating various other types of tears, such as those to the Achilles tendon or hamstring.

Common causes of sprains and strains:

The symptoms of a sprain and strain are much alike, due to the fact that the injuries are very similar in nature. You may experience swelling, muscle spasm, difficulty with range of motion, limited flexibility, or pain around the affected joint. However, there is one main difference in symptoms: with a sprain, you will usually present bruising around the affected joint, whereas this is not always the case with a sprain. Some of the most common causes of sustaining a sprain or strain include:

  • Prolonged repetitive motion.
  • Overexerting yourself.
  • Lifting heavy objects.
  • Slipping and falling.
  • Athletic activities.

There are also certain risk factors that may increase your chances of sustaining a sprain or strain, such as neglecting to warm up before exercising, using improper equipment, practicing improper techniques, being out of shape, or general fatigue.

Find relief for your sprain or strain today!

WebMD states, “Ankle injuries can happen to anyone at any age. However, men between 15 and 24 years old have higher rates of ankle sprain, compared to women older than age 30 who have higher rates than men. Half of all ankle sprains occur during an athletic activity. Every day in the U.S., 25,000 people sprain their ankle. And more than 1 million people visit emergency rooms each year because of ankle injuries. The most common ankle injuries are sprains and fractures, which involve ligaments and bones in the ankle. But you can also tear or strain a tendon.”

Is your sprain or strain limiting your daily life? Find relief with us. Our licensed physical therapists will conduct a comprehensive assessment to determine what the best course of treatment will be for you. Say goodbye to your pain today with physical therapy!

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sprains-and-strains/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20377943

https://medlineplus.gov/sprainsandstrains.html

How Physical Therapy can Put an End to Nagging Headaches

The minute you feel that familiar pain and pressure coming on, you know you’re in for a bad time. Headaches are regrettable commonplace in today’s world, with 80 to 90 percent of Americans enduring a tension headache at some point or other. But while some headaches are caused by biochemical imbalances, hypertension, tumors or other causes, many of them are the direct result of musculoskeletal problems. Fortunately, physical therapy is tailor-made to address and correct musculoskeletal problems, including the issues behind chronic headache pain. Let’s examine how our physical therapist can help you get rid of those nagging headaches the natural way.

The Musculoskeletal Causes of Headaches

You’ve probably heard of tension headaches, but you may not realize that the tension refers, not to emotional tension, but to muscular tension in the neck. Although emotional tension can certainly promote this muscular tension, so can underlying physical imbalances, weaknesses or damage. A traumatic injury to the neck such as whiplash is a prime example, with torn neck muscles and strained connective tissues referring agonizing pain to the head, face and shoulders as well as the neck.

Tension Headaches and the Dura Mater

But the classic tension headache is caused by a more subtle form of strain. Repetitive motions or poor neck/head posture that place the neck muscles under constant strain may also pull upon a sensitive membrane known as the dura mater. The dura mater envelops the brain, and at the base of the skull, it lies in close proximity to small muscles such as the RCPM muscle. When these muscles go into spasm, the dura mater gets tugged – and it reacts by sending pain messages into the head.

Cervicogenic Headaches

Cervicogenic headaches are another kind of neck-related head pain. These headaches involve the topmost three vertebrae of the neck. Some cervicogenic headaches are caused by concussions or arthritis, but work-related strain is another potential trigger. People who typically droop their heads downward for many hours a day (hairdressers, long-haul drivers, smartphone addicts, etc.) are prone to these headaches.

Our Physical Therapist Can Provide Natural Headache Pain Relief

Drugs can’t do much more than offer pain relief for an isolated headache, which isn’t good enough if you suffer from chronic headache pain. Our physical therapist will start by evaluating your posture, asking you about your symptoms and medical history, and study X-rays or other diagnostic data from your primary care physician to figure out the biomechanical origins of your chronic headache problem. A detailed physical therapy program can then be formulated to address your specific musculoskeletal issues.

Physical therapy can relieve chronic headaches in a number of ways. Exercises to loosen, lengthen and relax the muscles of the neck can be highly effective at easing the spasms that set off tension headaches. You may also benefit from exercises such as the supra-clavicle release, which strengthens neck muscles weakened by postural imbalances. If tension in the fascia of the jaw or face are contributing to your neck tension and headaches, a lying-down posture with the relevant trigger points resting on a tennis ball can release that tension.

Exercises are only one aspect of physical therapy to relieve headaches. Our physical therapist may also prescribe massage therapy, ultrasound and lifestyle recommendations to help you stop sabotaging your neck and head in your everyday activities. This holistic approach can free you from your headache problem – as well as freeing you from a reliance on pain-relieving drugs.

Start Feeling Better – Talk to Our Physical Therapist

If you’re ready to enjoy serious, lasting headache pain relief, it’s time to talk to our physical therapist. Call our office today!

Stress is nothing more than our reaction to a provocation that upsets our physical and/or mental equilibrium. Therefore, stress is an inevitable part of life. Nevertheless, when we are faced with stress, our “fight or flight” response can be triggered; this causes the production of hormones including adrenaline and cortisol to increase and rush through your body.

Stress is nothing more than our reaction to a provocation that upsets our physical and/or mental equilibrium. Therefore, stress is an inevitable part of life. Nevertheless, when we are faced with stress, our “fight or flight” response can be triggered; this causes the production of hormones including adrenaline and cortisol to increase and rush through your body.

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