Headaches

If you would like to evaluate the causes of your headache or would like to understand more about how physical therapy can help in reducing its instances and severity, call or book your appointment online today.
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Agnello Spine & Sports Physical Therapy

Pittsburgh's Personalized, Results-Based Physical Therapy Center, located in Bethel Park, PA

Chronic headaches can be debilitating, especially when it’s intensity escalates to the level of a migraine. More than 45 million people suffer from chronic headaches, and about 28 million are afflicted by migraine in the United States. A significant percentage of people (about 70%) who suffer from headache are women. Whether the headache is caused due to tension in your neck or back, or due to a nerve strain or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, the expert physical therapists at Agnello Spine & Sports Physical Therapy in Bethel Park, PA can help. If you would like to understand more about how physical therapy can reduce your headaches, call or book an appointment online today at our Bethel Park office. 

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FAQs on Headaches:

By Joseph Agnello, PT, Cert. MDT

 

What is a headache?

A headache can be described as a occasional or recurrent sensation of pain in the head, which can radiate towards the face and the eyes. It can range from mildly irritating to completely debilitating.

 

What causes headaches?

The actual cause of a headache and migraine is hard to narrow down on a physical level, but identifying the source and triggers can help in understanding the root cause of the headache. The expert physical therapists at Agnello Spine & Sports Physical Therapy can help identify the root cause and facilitate the creation of a viable treatment plan to relieve you from pain. Some common triggers of headaches include: 

  • Mental Stress, tension or anxiety
  • Skipping meals
  • Excessive Alcohol use
  • Excessive Medication use that causes blood vessels to swell
  • Excessive Caffeine
  • Exposure to smoke or other odors like perfume
  • Sleep pattern changes
  • Depression
  • Eye Strain

 

What are the different types of headaches?

The International Headache Society has categorized about 150 different types of headaches, but on a practical level, headaches can be classified as primary and secondary headaches.

Primary headaches: This type of headache is usually independent, and are not an indicator of another medical condition. When your head directly senses pain, like when experiencing  migraines, or with tension and cluster-type headaches, they are considered primary. Primary headaches are the most common type of headaches and they usually have a single source. These sources may be independent, like physiological, hormonal, psychological and nutritional causes, or a combination of these. In most cases, having a regimented care plan and physical therapy can help alleviate the pain associated with headaches and migraines.

Secondary headaches: This type of headache is usually an indicator of another medical condition, like sinus, medication overuse, trauma or in more serious cases, a tumor. Other problems like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, or nerve or muscle issues in the neck and back could also constitute the reasons for secondary headaches.

 

What are Migraines?

Migraines are a more severe form of headaches and their symptoms are characterized by a throbbing pain on one side of the head, usually lasting between 4 hours to 3 days. Patients who have migraine also experience: 

  • Sensitivity to light, sound and sometimes, smell
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Tiredness and dizziness
  • Blurry vision

 

How can physical therapy help my headaches?

Physical therapy is a natural and effective way to treat headaches. The expert team at Agnello Spine & Sports Physical Therapy may identify the possible causes for your headache, and any associated neuromuscular connections, which includes assessing any muscle tension or injury, neck or jaw joint dysfunction, stress or poor posture. If so, Joe Agnello and his team of experienced physical therapy professionals can help you with your headaches by: 

  • Manual therapy
  • Individualized physical exercise like neck, jaw, and back stretches
  • Joint Manipulation
  • Heat / Ice Therapy
  • Posture Education

The services provided at Agnello Spine & Sports Physical Therapy will take special care to eliminate your headaches, improve your migraines, and more importantly, treat their root causes. If you would like to evaluate the causes of your headaches, call or book your appointment online today.

 

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