Headaches

This program is available at the following locations:

Carlsbad, CA
Escondido-Valley, CA
Ramona, CA
San Marcos, CA
Santee, CA
Scripps Ranch, CA

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and are experienced by up to 90% of adult Americans sometime in their lives. Muscle contraction headaches are a type of tension headache. They can last for days or weeks. Advanced physical therapy techniques and patient training can greatly reduce the incidence of muscle tension headache and give the patient far greater control of their physical well-being.

Factors which need to be addressed in the treatment of muscle tension headaches include posture, ergonomics, habitual muscle posturing or guarding, clenching, adaptive shortening of muscles and the presence of myofascial trigger points. Physical therapists specially trained in the treatment of muscle contraction headaches can evaluate these factors and provide the treatment and education necessary to eliminate and/or control them. Working with the patient’s physician to identify the many influencing factors is an important role of the physical therapist.

Therapeutic Treatments of Muscle Contraction Headaches Include:

  • Soft tissue and joint mobilization
  • Modalities as needed to decrease tissue irritation
  • Stress/tension awareness and management
  • Surface EMG biofeedback
  • Postural retraining
  • Identification of causes of stress
  • Identification of related etiologies, i.e. TMJ dysfunction

Physical Therapy Goals Include:

  • Prevention of muscle tension
  • Awareness of causes of muscle tension
  • Identification and treatment of the mechanical cause of muscle tension headache