What are headaches? And can neuromuscular therapy help?
Different types, different causes.
Headaches are well researched and defined, and we all know one when we feel it: it’s a pain in the head. But not all headaches are created equal.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, with pain occurring on both sides of the head without other symptoms. The pain can range from very mild to severe.
Migraine headaches are often pulsing, and can be accompanied by nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, and hallucinations. Some people experience migraines only rarely, while other people experience them on an almost daily basis.
Cluster headaches are less common, and are generally experienced as severe pain around one eye. “Cluster periods,” during which many headaches occur during a period of time, are interspersed with longer periods without any symptoms.
Secondary headaches are not conditions themselves, but are symptoms of other conditions. These conditions can be as everyday as a sinus infection or conjunctivitis (pink-eye), or more serious, like traumatic brain injury or meningitis. While the pain from secondary headaches can be managed, it’s important to focus on getting the appropriate medical treatment for the underlying condition.
Headaches and Neuromuscular Therapy
Tension headaches, the type of headaches people are most likely to experience, seem to respond well to NMT treatment including manual trigger point therapy and muscle energy techniques.
Treatment has been seen to reduce pain in the moment, and regular therapy also appears to increase the amount of time between headaches for those who experience them on a chronic basis.
Headaches can be associated with high levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. Studies have found that treatment can help with these issues not just in the general population, but also specifically in people who live with chronic headaches.
Some people with secondary headaches can also benefit. People with fibromyalgia, for example, who often experience headaches as part of their condition, can experience both pain and stress relief with NMT. While treatment during a flare-up of symptoms may need to be modified to be more gentle, some people find that it can provide relief both for headache as well as for pain throughout the body.
Chronic headache treatment often requires a holistic approach starting with primary care. Physical therapy, nutrition, dehydration, medications, sleep, and postural/work habits might all be considered. Neuromuscular therapy is a helpful treatment within a holistic approach.
Are you interested in NMT for headache? Get in touch below.
Nicole Urell is a certified Neuromuscular Therapist in Belmont, MA.