Do you suffer from migraines? If so, you know how hard it is to deal with these notorious throbbing headaches that don’t let you rest, sleep or work.
A migraine is a type of primary headache, meaning that it isn’t a side effect of another medical condition. Chronic migraines are a disorder of the nervous system, marked by intense and debilitating headaches that are often accompanied by nausea, numbness, tingling, and sensitivity to light.
Thankfully, treatment exists for migraines, and one treatment specifically doesn’t even involve medication –physical therapy. Physical therapy can relieve your migraine symptoms, help manage future attacks, and improve your quality of life.
Let’s talk about how physical therapy can help you with migraines and where you can go to receive migraine treatment from a certified physical therapist.
Physical Therapy for Migraines
When you visit a physical therapist for migraine treatment, your therapist will perform a thorough evaluation which involves palpating your skull and neck, assessing your posture, and measuring the range of motion in your neck. After evaluation, your physical therapist will work with you to develop a physical therapy treatment plan which includes:
An exercise is a vital tool in physical therapy. Your physical therapist will teach you neck exercises such as cervical (neck) retraction, flexion, rotation, and side bending. These exercises can improve neck motion and relieve pressure on the nerves in your neck, which can cause migraines and headaches.
Tightening of the neck muscles can limit your neck motion and contribute to headaches like migraines. Massage, along with a special physical therapy technique called suboccipital release, can relieve tension in the muscles that connect your neck and skull. These techniques can decrease nerve irritation, improve neck motion, and reduce the frequency of migraine attacks by the end of the treatment.
Stretching and Postural Training
Stretching and proper posture prevent muscle strain or tension that contributes to headaches and migraines. Postural training includes exercises that strengthen your neck muscles and encourage your head to be upright and in alignment with your spine.
Cervical traction involves a mechanical device or manual manipulation by your physical therapist to relieve pressure on the joints in your neck. This can help improve your neck motion and help reduce migraines.
If you’re having symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness, imbalance, visual problems, etc. along with your migraine headaches, you can benefit from vestibular therapy. Vestibular therapy targets your vestibular (inner ear) system, which regulates your balance. In vestibular therapy, your physical therapist will perform some specific head, neck, and gaze stabilization exercises to improve the function of your vestibular system and manage migraine-associated vestibular symptoms.
Physical Therapy Migraine Treatment
If you’re suffering from migraines and need a long-lasting solution, visit us at H2 Health. We have a team of highly trained and skilled physical therapists who will evaluate your condition and provide effective treatment tailored to your unique needs.