Have you ever suffered from :
- Eye pain?
- Sensitivity to light or sound?
- A severe pain, that is usually on one side of the head, that some describe as “pounding”?
You may be suffering from a migraine.
For those who have had the infrequent, classic migraine or those who have had to endure chronic migraines, finding relief however you can is high on your to-do list. Lucky for migraine-sufferers everywhere, there may be a solution! Physical therapy.
Of course, every individual is different and there is a wide range of causes to why someone has migraines. First let’s break down what a migraine is.
Migraine headaches are more or less a disorder occurring in the central nervous system (aka the brain and spinal cord), involing different nerves and blood vessels. An absolute cure for migraines has yet to exist, but medication is the norm for relief, along with avoiding triggers that may cause migraine attacks.
Physical therapy though works on the muscles and joints towards the head and neck in hopes of providing relief. So, the way that an individual who has migraines responds to physical therapy, depends on which muscles and joints are involved in the headache.
Physical therapy techniques that are applied during a headache (especially towards the beginning) can help to reduce the pain temporarily. Patients may learn about ice and relaxation techniques and family members or friends can be taught massage techniques or manual cervical traction. Sometimes migraines may cause tension in the neck, so stretching exercises may help with the discomfort.
Physical therapy primarily may help those migraine-suffering patients with musculoskeletal problems involving the neck and/or jaw.
Muscles and joints can produce pain in the head by something called referred pain. This is more or less when you have pain in one area that can be felt else where. For example, when you have a heart attack and there is stress on the heart, you may feel pain in the left arm. Your pain from your heart is REFERRED to your arm. In relation to a headache, your neck muscles and joints may refer into your head.
Another way that muscles and joints can cause pain in the head are their structure. Just as certain foods and the environment can trigger a headache, tightness and dysfunction in your muscles and joints also be a trigger. So if physical therapy can align and treat the problems in the neck or jaw, a migraine trigger may be eliminated or reduced.
Come schedule with us today at 801-685-9212 and our physical therapists will go through your medical history and provide a full physical examination!