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Treatment Tips for Headaches

Exercises for Headaches

We have lots of patients come through here with a long history of headaches and often a long history of failed treatments or treatments with transient effectiveness.  Multiple chiropractic treatments, massages, injections, holistic approaches, dietary changes, and who knows what else to get relief.  SSOR has become a resource for numerous practices in the Kansas City metro for those who are battling chronic headaches.   Our approach is simple – get to the root cause of them and address accordingly.  We understand headaches and get results quickly for our patients through the effective use of manual therapy, exercise, posture education, and ergonomic education.  Forget about things like ultrasound and electrical stimulation – no evidence shows they work for headaches and they’re not addressing the cause.  We won’t waste your time on treatments that don’t work – maybe that’s why we so many that failed elsewhere.
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What causes headaches?

There are many reasons why headaches occur.  Stress, posture, anxiety, history of concussion/whiplash, recent motor vehicle accidents, and occupational demands are just a few of the reasons we tend to hear.  Regardless of the cause, we can help each other get to the root of it.   Now, we have to say – sometimes serious conditions can cause headaches too that need immediate medical attention.  If you have facial numbness, visual disturbances, dizziness, “pulsatile” headaches, or acute headaches that are worsening – you should see a doctor immediately.  In this post, we’re addressing headaches that truly are mechanical in nature and not due to more serious causes like strokes.

Why has nothing helped my headache, or helped only a little?

Most headache treatments are addressing the symptoms, not the actual cause/s.  People are loaded up with medications that just take the pain away for a while.  Massages feel good, but the reason for the need for massage hasn’t been addressed.  Injections or other aggressive, sometimes invasive treatments, treat the symptoms.  Similarly, chiropractic treatments do the same – they may feel good, but people keep needing to go back for more “adjustments.”  All that said, some people are hurting so much, they’ll do anything to get even a modicum of relief for a short time.  We certainly don’t blame people!  However, we know more can be done and expect better for you.

Treatment for Headaches

While it’s difficult to speculate on the source of the problem, there are a few simple things you can try.  This headache treatment clip from our YouTube channel shows two simple things you might try at the office or at the computer to help get through your day.  You can also try these two stretches below (fig 1 and 2).  Those are good stretches for the upper trapezius and the levator scapulae, both muscles that commonly get “knots” in them.  Lastly, laying on a foam roller to open up your shoulders (Fig 3) and chest will help reverse that slumped posture that often contributes to headache.

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Figure 1. Upper Trapezius stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. You should feel a stretch on the side of your neck

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Figure 2. Levator stretch. You should feel this in the back of your neck.

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Figure 3. Lay on your back on a foam roller. You should feelt a stretch in your shoulders and chest. Try for a few minutes as needed.

It would be a privilege to partner with you in your care to help your headache.  Our approach will get to the root cause and give you long-term solutions that you’ll be able to manage yourself, hopefully with less or without medications or short-term treatments.  We’re confident our approach will get you results.  Give us a call! Remember, you can see a PT in Kansas without a physician referral!