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Treating Headaches and Migraines with Physiotherapy


Repetitive or chronic headaches and migraines can become rehabilitating and effects many people of all ages. There are not many treatment options for headaches and migraines and unfortunately these treatments do not work on everyone. Physiotherapy has been suggested as one of the best treatments for migraines and headaches. That being said, it is always important to consult with a medical doctor if you are experiencing repetitive or chronic headaches and migraines to ensure no medical intervention is needed. However, because physiotherapy is a treatment option with little side effects and cannot make your headaches worse it does not hurt to try after consulting with a medical doctor.


There may be several causes of repetitive or chronic migraines and headaches including, but not limited to stress, poor posture, dehydration, neck trauma and upper back and neck stiffness. The goal of the physiotherapist is to determine which of the potential causes are causing the patient migraines and headaches and then to make a personalized plan to treat the root of the cause. Physiotherapy has been suggested to be most useful for cervicogenic headaches (also known as neck headaches). This headache feels like a steady ache from a specific source in the neck to the head and are often only felt on one side of the body. This type of headache can be caused by several things such as poor posture and neck injuries. Specific exercises and stretches are often prescribed to cervicogenic headaches by a physiotherapist and treatment often continues until there is a consistent relief from migraines or headaches. For example, manual therapy to restore stiff joints in the upper neck is often implemented and posture changes. Patients are often asked to repeat exercises multiple times between sessions. Nonetheless, physiotherapy has still been shown to be successful for several other types of headaches which would have a completely different treatment program. As such it is essential to always work with a licensed physiotherapist to ensure you receive a proper treatment plan. If you are an individual who experiences chronic or repetitive headaches or migraines periodically, physiotherapy can also be used as a treatment to prevent or lessen the intensity of future headaches or migraines.


Most individuals experience headaches and migraines throughout their lives however persistent or chronic headaches and migraines can be debilitating. The treatment options for headaches and migraines are limited and do not work for everyone and as such physiotherapy is a treatment option I suggest investigating. Always consult with a medical doctor first if you are experiencing chronic or repetitive migraines and headaches as they may be due to an underlying medical condition that requires immediate medical care. A physiotherapist will work with their patients to find the root of the headaches or migraines and then generate a detailed and unique treatment plan for them. Different types of headaches have different treatment plans, and these treatment plans can be tweaked depending on the patients’ individual needs. As such only see a licenced physiotherapist. Other than alleviated migraines and headaches, physiotherapy can be used as an effective treatment to prevent or lessen the intensity of future headaches.

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