Why do I have a Headache?

COVID-19, lockdowns, virtual school, working from home, mask-wearing, financial concerns, other personal and emotional stressors…Is it any wonder why we are seeing an increase in the complaints of headaches? Even in younger and healthy populations, the frequency and intensity of headaches are on the rise. Based on CDC statistics, up to 4% of adults worldwide have a headache or migraine on 15 or more days EACH MONTH! And, a conservative estimate of the economic cost from headache disorders in the U.S. is around $31 billion.

What can be done?

So, what can be done to help this condition? Does suffering from chronic headaches have to be a lifelong problem? The simple answer is NO! There are treatment options, and many people respond very well to conservative treatment plans. The key, though, is a thorough evaluation to determine the potential cause of the headaches. As a Cranio-Facial Certified (CFC) physical therapist, the majority of the patients I evaluate and treat every day have some sort of headache, neck, or facial pain, including TMJ dysfunctions. Often, these painful conditions originate from joint restrictions, muscle tightness and trigger points, stress, poor posture, and/or poor habits. Identifying the root cause is essential for planning and implementing the appropriate treatment plan.

What can be done for me?

There is not one single treatment or plan that will universally help every headache sufferer. But, having the correct diagnosis allows for choosing the appropriate techniques. Some treatments that are frequently utilized include postural awareness and re-education, stress management, activity modification, joint mobilizations, soft tissue massage, trigger point release through the use of dry needling, and exercise prescription.

Find a treatment right for you

The combination of these techniques can provide initial and lifelong changes to head, neck, and facial symptoms that many people experience. You don’t have to live with headaches. You don’t have to suffer through the chronic and seemingly endless cycle of pain. There are treatment options available, and we are here to help work with you and your medical doctor to get you on the right path to healthier and happier days.

Our highly trained, certified therapists are waiting to help you find the right treatment. Book your appointment at any of our 4 greater Milwaukee locations today to begin on your path to healing.

Mike specializes in manual therapy techniques, evaluation and treatment of the spine and TMJ/craniofacial pain, mobilization techniques, and intramuscular dry needling. Mike played college hockey for St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.