A number of different sources have been attributed as sources of headaches, including the vascular origin of migraines as well muscular “tension” which can also cause headaches. What may not be as well known is that many headaches can be treated with physical therapy. There is a very strong relationship between the cervical spine (or neck) and the nerves which innervate the head. As a result of this, problems that originate in the cervical spine can actually cause headaches.
A physical therapist can help address cervical problems, which have caused or contributed to headaches. At STAR, a physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation that includes a “segmental” assessment of the cervical and thoracic spine as well as other structures (muscles of the neck, jaw and intra – oral musculature) which can help identify the cause of your headaches.
Once the key problems have been identified, the physical therapist will guide the patient in treatment including education in posture and activity modifications, manual techniques, exercise as well as other options. Education is an important part of the process as often-repeated behavioral tendencies can be identified and modified which may be contributing to the headaches. Manual therapy can help address problems in the neck and upper back as well.