Physical Therapy for Tension Headaches

Three ways physical therapy can be helpful for tension headaches

There it is again. The pain in your forehead and the feelings of tightness and pressure in the sides or back of your head. The inability to focus on work or tasks around the home. In short, you’re experiencing a tension headache. 

Medical professionals know this type of headache as a tension-type headache, and they’re one of the most common sources of head pain. This claim is supported by medical research, which shows that tension headaches affect about 75% of the general population. 

Seeking physical therapy for your tension headache is one effective way of treating it. There are many ways that physical therapy can be helpful for people suffering from tension headaches. 

Three ways physical therapy can help tension headache sufferers 

  1. Evaluating the headache’s cause — Physical therapists can identify and treat many musculoskeletal conditions, including tension headaches. They can do a comprehensive evaluation of your head and neck area. Such evaluations are intended to help physical therapists identify the root cause of your headaches. 
  1. Educating you about precursors — Headaches may not just spring on you out of the blue. They’re often preceded by signs called precursors. Your physical therapist can help you learn some of the common precursors for tension headaches. This knowledge may allow you to identify when you’re about to develop a headache. Some common tension headache precursors include: 
  • Sensitivity to light or sound but not both.
  • Soreness in your shoulder muscles, neck muscles or scalp.
  • Difficulty focusing on your tasks. 
  1. Treating your headaches — Addressing tension headaches effectively is a strength for physical therapists. They can help you stretch out headache-causing muscle tension using specific neck exercises. In addition, they can show you exercises to strengthen your neck muscles. Even better, they can perform manual therapy techniques like the Active Release Techniques® on you, which can help ease your pain. 

Find top-notch physical therapy for your tension headache at SOL PT

Driven to find effective physical therapy for your tension headache? Our SOL Physical Therapy team is ready and willing to help you find the most effective ways to address your headache. We excel at evaluating the root causes of many types of headaches. Furthermore, our physical therapists excel at building therapy plans that are unique to your specific needs. 

Contact our team today for more information about our headache treatment services or to schedule an initial appointment. 

About the author

Sports + Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy & Performance Training serves the communities of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, San Francisco and beyond. SOLPT’s award winning team of Physical Therapists, Performance Coaches and movement experts has helped thousands reach their rehabilitation and performance goals to move beyond pain. We're committed to helping anyone of any fitness level move effectively and more powerfully for a lifetime. We offer rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.