Woman with migraine

Did you know that physical therapy can reduce symptoms from a migraine? Many people suffer from debilitating migraines, causing them to have to skip work or school, not exercise for days and possibly put their life on pause due to severe symptoms migraines may cause.

There is continued research as to what can cause migraines, and the truth is, there are multiple reasons one may get migraines. Stress, lack of sleep, water or nutrients, hormones or even neck pain/injuries can all affect someone to experience migraines.

Now, how can physical therapy help if all those factors seem to be internal? Throughout our years of working with patients who suffer from migraines, we have come to find some common symptoms that they all exhibit. First and foremost is tension in the upper trapezius muscle. Subconsciously, many patients hold their upper traps up near their ears while stressed or to complete day to day tasks. The upper trap muscle has attachments to the neck and can cause increased pain in this region.

Pain and strain can travel to the neck muscles from the pressure on the trapezius muscle. If the muscles that run vertical along the neck are strained, this may cause a pulling/tight sensation at the base of the skull. If too much tension is at the base of the skull, this may lead to a cervicogenic headache. To most people, it’s known as a severe headache wrapping to the front of the head.

All of these scenarios can cause migraines! If someone experiences a migraine from internal factors, then secondary symptoms might occur due to the increased pain in the head and neck region. A physical therapist can help relieve this pain by teaching proper posture, better work ergonomic set up, soft tissue work, trigger point release and dry needling to this region. Exercises can also be given to the patient to restore proper neck alignment, and reduce the impact of symptoms a migraine may cause.



If you think you or a loved one might suffer from migraines, the therapists at Pure Physio may be able to help.

Contact us for more information on physical therapy treatments or to schedule your visit.