By Dr. David Bokermann
Headaches are experienced by most people but do vary in intensity, severity and frequency. Sometimes they present without pattern, interrupt our daily routines and can wreak havoc on our ability to concentrate, exercise and function at work. I know personally when I don't get a good night's rest, adequately hydrate or get overloaded with the stress and anxiety of life I experience headaches with pain above my eyes. Sometimes I will reach into the medicine cabinet for some pain-relieving medication, or I might try to do some breathing exercises or attempt to shift my focus to stretching or modify my environment. Personally, my headaches may fall into a mild category- quickly resolving with simple fixes, in this blog I want to touch on headaches that are frequent, stop you from doing what you love to do and are moderate to severe that impact quality of life and don’t respond to quick fixes.
When trying to find relief for a headache, knowing what type of headache you are dealing with is crucial to fully alleviating your pain. Our role as a PT in headaches is to identify the exact type of headache you are dealing with to provide the most individualized treatment approach.My personal headaches described above would be considered tension or “stress-related” headaches. There are in fact 10 other common headaches, including:
PT Evaluation of Headaches
The benefit of seeing a skilled physical therapist for your headaches is to clearly identify your type of headache, to pinpoint the source of pain and provide an individualized treatment plan that targets your deficits. This will create a path for recovery and provide a framework to return you back to a life without pain or difficulty. At RecoverRx PT our therapists will listen to your headache history looking for patterns, triggers or environmental influences. Following the subjective portion a thorough assessment of the head, neck, thoracic spine, postural system and jaw will help to create a picture of potential contributing factors that influence your headaches. We will also assess the muscle system looking to identify trigger points, areas of tightness or imbalances that have a referral pattern to the area of pain.
Please don't hesitate to reach out to us your healthcare provider if you have additional questions regarding headaches and/or the types of treatments that you should be receiving. Thanks!
Dr. Luke Greenwell and Dr. David Bokermann are Performance Based Physical Therapists with extensive backgrounds in treating the injured athlete. At RecoverRx, they are passionate about returning people to the sports & activities they love. They both have post-doctorate certifications in Manual Therapy, Functional Dry Needling in addition to other skill certifications. Dr. Luke is a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Dr. David is passionate about treating concussions and dizziness patients.