Treatment for Chronic Headaches Now Available in Fort Worth!
People with chronic headaches often report debilitating symptoms that interfere with their daily activities. After attempting a variety of different treatments, many people have accepted their impairment as a fact of life and depend on medication to relieve their symptoms.
According to the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study (AMPP), 98% of people who get migraines take medications, yet a large majority of people in the study reported that their lives are still significantly affected by the pain and debilitation associated with their migraines.
Types of Headaches
The International Headache Society has classified hundreds of different types of headaches into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Primary headaches are the most common headache type and have a single cause. They include migraine, tension-type, cluster, and others. Secondary headaches are classified according to their causes. Examples of secondary headaches are headaches attributed to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and cervicogenic headaches, which are attributed to mechanical disorders of the neck.
How can our Physical Therapy Headache Program help?
Due to all of the different types of headaches and their varying causes, a successful headache program needs to have a multifaceted approach in order to allow the patient to achieve resolution of the problem - not just the symptoms.
New research is finding that a common, but often overlooked, cause of both primary and secondary headaches is prior facial/head trauma or a traumatic brain injury. This type of trauma can be anything from birthing challenges to car accidents, childhood falls, concussions, etc. This causes a shift in the interior bones of the skull which ultimately can lead to headaches as well as a multitude of other symptoms. There are gentle, manual techniques that are used to reposition the facial/skull bones for proper alignment and to promote the flow of blood and cerebrospinal fluid to the brain and spinal cord.
A thorough physical therapy examination attempts to determine the type of headache and to define the neuromusculoskeletal factors contributing to it. Muscle tension, joint dysfunction of the neck and jaw, poor posture and stress are factors that can be addressed and treated by manual therapy.
The muscles of the face, head, and neck may contain tight bands and contraction knots called myofascial trigger points. Trigger points found in these muscles typically refer pain to the head, causing headaches. Manual physical therapy addressing muscle tension involves the release of those trigger points, stretching the involved muscle and soft tissue, and restoring normal muscle function. Trigger point release can be accomplished by manual techniques and dry-needling. Dry-needling is a technique in which a thin acupuncture needle is used to deactivate the trigger points and proves to be highly effective.
Migraine sufferers can also find relief from dry needling. This is accomplished by treating small muscles at the base of the neck that lie close to and can affect nerves associated with migraine headache pain. It can be effective in decreasing or even eliminating the pain associated with migraine headache while in progress following the aura (light sensitivity) phase.
Following a comprehensive initial evaluation, an individualized headache program will be created to address the patient's specific needs. Some of the treatments that may be utilized during the program include: dry needling, manual therapy, decompressive traction, kinesiotape, cold laser, ultrasound, posture correction, headache diet education, work space ergonomics, stress/breathing techniques, or therapeutic exercise/stretching.
If you are a headache sufferer in Fort Worth and you are looking for a way to manage your headaches beyond using medication, call us to see if Curnyn Physical Therapy's headache program could be the answer you've been looking for.
If you are needing headache treatment and are travelling from outside the Fort Worth area, please contact our office and we will be happy to assist you with your travel planning.