Headaches have the potential to destroy your plans for the day and interfere with your ability to accomplish tasks. Frequent headaches are the most common form of pain in the U.S., reports the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a division of the National Institutes of Health. In fact, nine out of 10 adults will experience a headache, and for millions of people, headaches may occur several times per week. Instead of suffering through the pain, know more about the condition, and find out how physical therapy treatments can help.
What Are Frequent Headaches?
Frequent headaches refer to the onset of headache symptoms three or more times per week, reports Harvard Health Publishing. These symptoms include a pulling or squeezing sensation of the head and pain. The exact symptoms vary by person. In reality, more than 300 types of headaches exist, reflecting unique causes and health conditions. Most people experience tension-type headaches, so treatment for tension headaches must begin at the source.
Causes and Symptoms of Frequent Headaches.
Tension headaches are the most common form of headache. They are generally mild to moderate in severity and occur infrequently. However, some people may experience severe tension headaches three or four times per week. In these headaches, the shoulders and neck may ache, and their most common causes include fatigue, muscle and joint pain, emotional stress or injury.
Chronic daily headaches, reports the Mayo Clinic, is diagnosed when headaches occur 15 or more days a month for a period that exceeds three months. Depending on the presence of underlying health conditions, these may include both tension headaches and migraines. For those with migraines, causes range from hypertension (high blood pressure) to severe medical problems. Fortunately, the majority are actually tension headaches, not migraines.
How Physical Therapy Helps Headaches.
Visiting a physical therapist is an excellent alternative to traditional medication management of headaches. According to Move Forward PT, physical therapy has been extensively studied and proven to decrease intensity, frequency and duration of headaches. This is achieved through several means, including:
- Increasing the amount of exercise a person receives, which has been shown to decrease pain and inflammation, as well as promote overall healing. Ultimately, more activity amounts to better movement of the joint and improved health.
- Physical manipulation of the joints and muscles to improve the mobility of the head and neck. As a result, muscle tension and spasms decrease, reducing their risk of contributing to a headache.
- Education for patients to understand triggers that contribute to headaches, such as improper posture, eye strain and even sleeping in the wrong position. This is the first-line defense against the return of headaches after obtaining treatment.
Enjoy More Headache-Free Days by Choosing Physical Therapy First.
Chances not on your side when it comes to your risk of suffering from frequent headaches. Statistically, those that do not experience headaches at least once in their life are anomalies, but the frequency of headaches can become so severe that they interfere with basic daily function. Ultimately, if any frequency of headaches that interferes with your responsibilities and recreational activities is a problem. Fortunately, physical therapy can help. Request a consultation with OSR Physical Therapy to find out what your life could feel like with fewer headache-prone days.