What Are Tension Headaches and How Can Physiotherapy Help?

What Are Tension Headaches and How Can Physiotherapy Help?

January 22, 2020

Tension headaches are the most common form of headaches, as they affect about 80 percent of the population. They’re characterized by tension in the neck and shoulder muscles as well as the muscles in the back of the head, and many people often report pressure behind the eyes. While there’s no singular cause of tension headaches, they’re often accompanied by stress, anxiety and poor posture.

If you’re experiencing tension headaches in Brampton, there’s good news: physiotherapy can help you eliminate the headaches at the source. When your tension headaches occur 10 or more times per month, you may be diagnosed with “chronic” or “frequent” tension headaches and will likely find physiotherapy helpful.

Diagnosing tension headaches

Tension headaches are typically not as severe as migraines, but they can share some symptoms, like sensitivity to light or sound and the presence of nausea. Usually tension headaches will only exhibit one of those symptoms, along with a bilateral tightening sensation. They’re typically not severe enough to make you miss work, but when they occur frequently, you should seek therapy beyond over-the-counter pain medication.

There is no single way to diagnose tension headaches, but your health care provider may ask you about your stress and anxiety levels, sleep cycles, posture, how much water you’re drinking and whether you have sensitivity to noise and sunlight.

How physiotherapy can help tension headaches

There are a number of different ways that physiotherapists can provide tension headache treatment in Brampton. For some people, gentle manipulation of the joints, heat therapy, massage and/or special exercise will be effective in treating the cause of the tension. Acupuncture, a treatment in which needles are inserted into the skin to increase circulation at key points of the body, has also been shown to be effective in eliminating tension headaches.

For example, if your neck joints are stiff, joint manipulation can be helpful. Your physiotherapist will use gentle gliding techniques, and potentially joint traction or manipulation. If the tension headaches are caused by overly stiff muscles, heat therapy and massage are usually the first solutions to try.

Weak muscles can also cause tension headaches, so your physiotherapist will guide you through a series of stretching and strengthening exercises to help build up the muscle strength you need to properly support your head and neck. This can also help with posture correction, although in severe cases you may be prescribed a brace.

Finally, your headaches may be caused by nerve dysfunction. In that case, your physiotherapist and other medical professionals will need to confer and proceed with caution so as to give you the safest and most effective treatment possible.

Get tension headache treatment in Brampton

Paramount Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Clinic offers physiotherapy to treat your tension headaches. Located in Brampton, we offer comprehensive massage, physiotherapy and occupational therapy services to eliminate your tension headaches and other musculoskeletal issues at the source. Call us today to schedule your first appointment and take the first step toward leading a pain-free life. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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