Don’t Let Stress-Related Headaches Get You Down

Find Effective Headache Relief with Physical Therapy

Did you know that headaches are the third most common pain complaint? Millions of people experience headaches at some point or another.

As stated by Choose PT, “Headaches affect 47% of the global population and are described by the type and location of pain in the head. Many headaches are harmless and resolve gradually. However, more frequent moderate to severe headaches can impact your ability to do daily activities and quality of life.”

Some common types of headaches include sinus headaches, hormonal headaches, and migraines. Various types of stress can also play a role in causing headaches.

In fact, stress-related headaches are considered to be one of the most common types of headaches that people experience. It is important to understand how stress headaches differ from other types of headaches, in addition to what causes them.

Physical therapy can help relieve the symptoms of your stress-related headaches so you can live life comfortably. To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact our office to consult with a physical therapist today!

How can physical therapy relieve stress-related headaches?

Physical therapy might not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering treatment options for headaches. Physical therapy, however, may be the ideal treatment if you’re experiencing tension or stress headaches.

A physical therapist would probably conduct a review of your medical history and conduct a thorough evaluation of your current physical abilities and limitations. A specific treatment plan could then be created that would address your individual condition.

There are several specific ways that physical therapy can help reduce stress-related headaches, including, but not limited to:

  • Lifestyle modification: A physical therapist can teach you new ways of sitting, standing, and even different ways to complete daily tasks that can reduce the stress and tension that contributes to stress headaches. Over time, even improved posture may be able to decrease the amount of headaches you experience.
  • Stretching exercises: Stretching exercises can help loosen tight muscles and ligaments in your neck and back that are contributing to your headaches. Certain stretches may also strengthen muscles in your neck and back. You can reduce pressure in your neck and shoulders as the muscles become stronger and more flexible.
  • Ice and heat compression: Alternating between heat and cold therapy can often reduce the tension and stress in muscles. It not only reduces muscle strain but can provide immediate soothing relief.
  • Soft tissue mobilization: Massage and other types of manual therapy can often provide immediate relief from pain associated with stress headaches. A physical therapist using the correct massage techniques can help prevent contractions in the shoulders, neck, and head that can cause headaches.

Why am I experiencing stress-related headaches?

There are a variety of reasons why you may be experiencing stress-related headaches. Anxiety, fatigue, and general stress can all contribute to stress-related headaches. Certain health conditions, including arthritis, may also cause headaches.

Poor posture can also contribute to stress-related headaches. When the muscles become tense, it causes the blood vessels to dilate, which can lead to discomfort in the neck and head regions. This may also cause stress-related headaches and other types of headaches (such as migraines) to worsen.

What else should I know about stress-related headaches?

Stress-related headaches are also sometimes referred to as tension headaches. You may experience a dull, achy pain along your forehead or through the back of your head. The pain sometimes begins in the neck or shoulders and then progresses through the areas of the head. It is also possible that you could experience aches or pains in the jaws and cheeks.

In stressful situations, our bodies often go into fight or flight mode, and during this time, certain chemicals in the brain are released, which can cause a variety of changes in the body that can lead to pain.

Get started on the first steps of a physical therapy treatment plan today!

As stated by Choose PT, “There is effective treatment for almost every type of headache.”

If you are struggling with stress-related headaches, an individualized physical therapy plan may reduce or even eliminate your headache pain altogether.

Schedule a consultation at Aim Orthopedics & PT today to find out how we can help relieve your headaches and get you on the path toward a pain-free life.

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