A migraine headache is a condition in which the patient experiences severe headaches which limit him to performing daily tasks actively. Unfortunately, the treatment is still not found. But physical therapy can help in migraine headache management. Many treatment techniques for headache management depend on each patient.
Migraine is a headache disorder that involves the central nervous system, including blood vessels and nerves that cause pain and other neurologic symptoms associated with migraine. The treatment and medication for migraines usually work on the nervous system to improve its function.
Physical therapy treatment involves the work on muscles and joints of the peripheral system. Physical therapy treatment of migraine usually involves the extent to which joints and muscles are involved in the cause of migraine in patients.
Physical Therapy Treatment for Migraine Pain Management:
Many physical therapy techniques can work to reduce migraine attack pain when used during the start of a headache. Physical therapists teach their patients some best techniques for pain management, like ice therapy and meditation. They can educate the patient’s family members on manual massage techniques for utilizing to reduce pain attacks.
Usually, in many people, a migraine headache starts along with a sensation of tension and irritation in the neck. Doctors considered it secondary pain to migraine, which is not the actual cause. This tension and discomfort in the neck can be treated by practicing stretching exercises and special neck movements.
How Can a Physical Therapist Assist Headache Pain Management?
Headache is categorized by its severity and pain location, which is different in different individuals. But most types of headaches are harmless and fixed gradually with time. But severe headaches affect the potential to do daily tasks and activities.
Your physical therapist will perform a thorough examination to understand and diagnose the type of headache and make a personal care plan. Physical therapy can help migraine headache patients to
- Reduce the intensity and period of headache
- Reduce the use of painkillers for pain management
- Improve ability to do daily activities
- Improve movements
- Reduce pain and discomfort in the neck
- Improve life quality
Physical Therapy Techniques for Migraine Pain Treatment:
Physical therapy can play an important role in reducing pain intensity and other symptoms of migraine headaches. When patients first visit a physical therapist for headache treatment, they ask the question to get a thorough history of the patient’s condition. These questions are about headache symptoms, the onset of pain, other diagnostic reports of headaches, etc.
Physical therapists also ask questions about previous medications and treatments tried for pain management and any patient’s medical or surgical history.
The main elements of physical therapy analysis include:
- Muscle strength measurements
- Postural Check-up
- Measurement of neck movement range
- Palpation assessment of neck and skull
After a complete assessment of the patient, physical therapists work with their patients to develop a complete care plan according to the goals and needs of the patient for Migraine headache treatment and rehabilitation.
A physical therapist can use different treatments techniques for treating migraine headaches. But it is always a good idea to visit a healthcare professional before starting any treatment for migraine headaches.
Exercises for Migraine Management:
Exercises can play the main role in migraine and other carcinogenic headache treatments. Physical therapists prescribe exercises for improving neck movement and reducing pressure on nerves. These exercise techniques for migraine management include:
- Neck and cervical flexion exercise
- Cervical and neck rotation movements
- Neck side bending exercise
- Neck and Cervical retraction
Physical therapists suggest avoiding jerks and quick movements while practicing neck exercises for headache management. These neck movements should be performed in a slow and steady motion. A physical therapist may also add more pressure on your neck with your hands while performing neck stretches that you have to hold up to one minute.
Posture Improving Techniques:
Right posture is also important for reducing pressure on your spinal cord and neck. If a person has a forward head posture, then there is a chance the upper cervical area and lower area of the occipital may increase pressure on nerves that supply blood to the brain. Correction of posture also helps to treat migraine and its symptoms. It may include:
- Slouch-overcorrect assessment for finding the right posture
- Use of supporting pillows while sleeping
- Use of lumbar roll while working or sitting
A physical therapist may use a kinesiology taping assessment to improve body posture. This taping also provides an idea about back and neck position.
If the main reason for your headache is stiff and sore muscles of your neck, then your physical therapist may use the neck massage technique to improve neck movement. A physical therapist uses a special suboccipital massage for nerves that travels from the neck to the skull to loosen the muscles. This massage improves your neck motion and reduces discomfort in the neck.
Ice and Heat Treatment:
Heat therapy relieves the stiffness in neck muscle and helps to increase circulation in that area. This treatment is effective for treating neck stretches and headaches.
Electrical Stimulation Physical Therapy Techniques:
Physical therapists may use electrical stimulation techniques for the treatment of migraine pain and symptoms. Such an electrical stimulation treatment is transcutaneous neuromuscular electrical stimulation (TENS) which is used to relieve pain in neck muscles and relieve headache pain.
Physical therapists also use manual or mechanical traction treatments for pain management and improving neck movement. Traction reduces pressure on neck muscles and joint discs to help to improve neck muscles movement. Many physical therapists also use the joint mobilization method to improve the motion of your neck and reduce muscle stiffness.
Vestibular Treatment Therapy:
If a person is experiencing vertigo (a sensation of everything spinning around them) or dizziness due to a migraine headache, then physical therapists use vestibular therapy to treat these symptoms. The therapy includes special neck, gaze, and head stabling exercises to improve vestibular system functionality.
Each patient has different signs and symptoms of migraines. Always ensure to work closely with your physical therapist to get an idea about which treatment is most effective for your migraine pain management.
When to Visit a Physical Therapist for Migraine Pain Management?
If you want to treat the main cause of migraine headache pain instead of covering it with painkillers and medications, you should visit a physical therapy clinic. Physical therapists review your medical history and perform a complete check-up to determine the type of headache and understand which treatment will be effective.
What Is the Main Benefit of Physical Therapy?
The main aim of physical therapy is to improve the musculoskeletal system to reduce pressure on cervical and spine nerves, which cause headaches. Physical therapy includes treatment and exercises to reduce stress and tension on the spinal cord and other muscles around the neck.
The upper cervical spine joints can be a reason for migraine headaches. These can be injured in an accident or any other incident, which can cause permanent pain in the neck and headache. Physical therapy techniques help to improve and restore their movement and function to reduce pain.
Headache is a common problem that people around the world may experience. According to studies, about 28 million people in the US experience migraine. Unfortunately, there is no such effective treatment for migraine that can treat it completely.
Physical therapy can be an effective treatment to reduce migraines’ symptoms and help manage pain intensity and period. The physical therapist diagnoses your headache type after performing a complete check-up and appropriate tests and develops a treatment plan according to diagnosis. Physical therapists use both manual and mechanical therapy to relieve pain and symptoms of migraine headaches.
1. How does physical therapy help in treating headaches?
The job of the physical specialist is to recognize a mechanical trigger of the migraine side effects. Through physical therapy tactics, they can work on the portability of the joints and right muscle irregular characteristics and deal with their brain issues.
2. Would a physical therapist be able to overcome headaches?
A physical therapist will assist with diminishing your aggravation, work on your versatility, and oversee future assaults of cerebral pain torment.
3. What is the best exercise for cerebral pain?
Trekking, swimming, and strolling are extraordinary approaches to fit in high-impact exercise and assist with decreasing the recurrence and seriousness of headaches and cerebral pains.
4. Does physiotherapy work for migraines?
Physiotherapy can diminish constant cerebral pains in various manners. Activities to slacken, protract and loosen up the muscles of the neck can be exceptionally viable at facilitating the fits that set off strain migraines.
5. Does neck foothold help in treating headaches?
The cervical neck foothold was a solution to your appeals. It decreased the torment and pressing factor in my neck and gave me help from my cerebral pains. The cervical neck footing was a solution to my petitions. It diminished the agony and pressing factor in my neck and gave me alleviation from my cerebral pains.