Headaches are one of the most common musculoskeletal issues that are mis-managed. They sometimes need to be treated with medical interventions, but more often than not the solution is less invasive. Chronic, or constant headaches keep you from doing things they love and can really disrupt your day to day activities. If these nagging episodes are affecting you, try out these three steps below to see which road to take!
Constant Headaches or Migraines; this or that?
This step is important because it directly leads to the other parts and ensures your success at treating your chronic headache. Headaches typically present on one side of your head starting at the base of the skull, behind an eye, at your temple, etc. They can change sides each episode or stay one always. Moving your shoulders or moving your head around a lot can make these worse or start the headaches. The intensity is variable person to person and episode to episode. A migraine’s presentation is very different. The pain will feel like both sides or your whole head. There are also people who report sensitivity to lights and sounds. Nausea or vomiting can also occur at times. You do not need to have all of these symptoms to have a headache and / or a migraine. A good place to start is to write down your symptoms to help determine if what you have is a constant headache or a migraine; remember all information is good information for your healthcare provider.
Choose your Fighter
Okay, not necessarily a fighter, but choosing the right provider is key to treating this effectively and efficiently. If your constant headache is one-sided and in one of the places mentioned above, a Physical Therapist is the place you should start. In Ohio, you do not need a prescription from your doctor to see a Physical Therapist. Their job is to assess your head, neck, and shoulders in order to see which impairments may be leading to the pain you are experiencing. If you are struggling with migraines, or your symptoms lean more towards a migraine, you should not see a physical therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist. Instead, starting with a neurologist is the best way to start. They may prescribe some medication and evaluate for other issues causing your problem.
Treatments and Problems Should Align
As with the provider and the diagnoses, the treatment should also match the problem.Migraines have more to do with the brain and central nervous system, whereas headaches involve more of the joints of the neck and tiny nerves around them. If it is a headache, getting some hands on work with some exercises for your neck and shoulder regions are the starting points under the care of a PT. Getting rid of those constant headaches needs the correct interventions in order to be achieved.
Looking for Relief from Constant Headaches?
We have got you covered! At Peak Physiotherapy and Performance we treat constant headaches in our patient daily. Going to our website and filling out a contact form or calling us at 614-467-0285 are easy places to start. For more detailed information on how we treat headaches at P3 you can check our managing headaches blog post.