What Are Tension Headaches and How Are they Treated?

Just like back pain, headaches are a common physical complaint that can be frustrating to treat. Any pain that happens in any portion of the head is called a headache.

A tension headache, also known as muscle-spasm headache, is a common type of headache experienced by adults. This type of headache is caused by poor posture, stress, neck or jaw problems or fatigue.

A problem that is present in the head, jaw or neck – like arthritis or injury – can result in muscle tension at the back of the head and can increase pressure on the nerves of the head and face. tension headaches in denverHaving poor posture can make these muscles stressed, which can initiate headache.

Physical therapists will then do a complete examination that comprises a review of your medical history. Your Denver physical therapist will ask you a few questions and will complete a series of tests to identify the cause of your headache. For example, the therapist will ask you to:

  • Remember previous injuries to your head, jaw, or neck
  • Explain the type, severity, and location of pain and other symptoms
  • Draw the area on a body diagram where the pain is located
  • Undergo a series of tests for muscle sensation and strength

The physical therapist will also:

  • Inspect your posture when standing, sitting and doing different activities
  • Measure range of motion of various parts of your body like the neck and shoulder
  • Utilize manual therapy to assess the mobility of your neck’s muscles and joints

If you are suffering from tension-type headache, your Denver physical therapist will create a personalized physical therapy treatment plan for you so you can meet your goals

Your physical therapist will work closely with you to treat the problem that’s causing you pain and will aid you in learning how to prevent headaches by simple modifications in your lifestyle and posture:

  • Improve neck mobility. Your physical therapist utilizes a special method known as manual therapy that helps in increasing movement, relieving pain and stretching the muscles at the back of the neck.
  • Improve your strength. Your physical therapist will teach you various exercises that help in increasing muscle strength so your neck and upper back will stabilize thus improving posture and endurance making it easier for you to stand and sit for extended periods minus the discomfort.
  • Improve your posture. Your physical therapist will teach you effective means in improving your posture. May it be simple pushing of your chest out or pulling your shoulder blades backward and together, minor changes to daily living can make a huge improvement in posture.

If you are suffering from tension headaches in Denver, contact Denver Physical Medicine & Rehab today to schedule a consultation with a top Denver physical therapist. Call 303-757-7280.