On Track Physiotherapy

Headaches in Ann Arbor

Finding Relief from Headaches Through Physical Therapy

If you’re one of the many who suffer from regular headaches, you know how much they can interfere with all aspects of life. But you don’t have to keep popping pain pills and hoping for the best – there are drug-free headache treatment options, and the skilled physical therapists at On Track Physiotherapy want to help you find relief.

What Causes Headaches in Ann Arbor

Headaches come in many shapes and sizes, from mild irritations to severe migraines. While the odd tension headache is normal, ongoing headaches signify deeper issues.
The most common headache types are:

  • Tension – Related to stress and muscle tightness in the head, neck, and shoulders
  • Migraines – Intensely painful headaches with sensitivity to light/sound
  • Cluster – Severe headaches occurring in groups over weeks/months
  • Exertion – Brought on by physical activity

Lifestyle factors like poor posture, eyestrain, inadequate hydration, and more can also contribute to headaches. When over-the-counter medications aren’t providing lasting relief, it’s time to get to the root of what’s causing your head pain. The good news? Research shows targeted physical therapy interventions can successfully prevent and treat headache disorders.

Physical Therapy Provides Drug-Free Headache Relief

Physical therapists are movement experts who evaluate whole-body function to pinpoint the origins of your headaches. We create customized treatment programs that don’t just mask the pain, but resolve it at its source through:

  • Muscle tension relief – Manual therapy like massage, trigger point release, and joint mobilization relaxes tight musculature in the head, neck, and shoulders. This reduces headache intensity and frequency.
  • Postural retraining – Faulty posture like forward head position, rounded shoulders, and more ramp-up muscle tension that can trigger headaches. We’ll assess your posture and movement patterns to correct them through targeted exercises.
  • Neuromuscular re-education – For some headaches like cervicogenic and migraine variants, nerves can get over-sensitized causing pain signals to fire more easily. Carefully graded aerobic exercise helps “turn down” these sensitivities.
  • Stress management education – For tension and other stress-related headaches, learning coping strategies like deep breathing, self-massage, and more empowers patients to better handle stress.

This combination treatment approach delivered by our specialized physical therapists achieves excellent headache relief results without medication side effects.

The Life-Changing Benefits of Headache Physical Therapy

Seeking comprehensive headache treatment from On Track Physiotherapy can lead to profound improvements including:

  • Less frequent and severe headaches
  • 50-60% reduction in headache days per month on average
  • Decreased need for pain medications
  • Improved function and productivity – participate more fully in work, family life, sports and hobbies
  • Enhanced overall wellbeing – less stress and anxiety, better sleep, more energy
  • Personalized self-management strategies – Gain knowledge and tools to better prevent and handle headaches independently long-term

Our goal isn’t just to make your headaches go away temporarily – it’s to enable you to live your fullest, most vibrant life.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re wondering whether physical therapy is right for you, here are answers to some common headache patient questions:

How do I know if my headache is serious?
See your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • Sudden severe headache
  • Fever and stiff neck
  • Headaches after a blow to the head
  • Persistent headache following a cold/flu
  • New headaches after age 50

These may indicate more serious issues needing medical attention like infection, tumor or stroke.

What are the 4 main types of headaches?
The four most prevalent types are tension, migraine, cluster and exertion headaches as explained above. Tension headaches are the most common. Migraines are more severe and have additional sensitivity symptoms. Cluster headaches occur in cyclical patterns. Exertion headaches are triggered specifically by athletic activities or other physical exertion.

What causes constant daily headaches?
Frequent headaches often result from:

  • Chronic muscle tension
  • Nerve pain sensitization
  • Poor posture/ergonomics
  • Repeated headache medication overuse
  • Dehydration
  • Vision problems
  • Sleep issues
  • Anxiety/depression

Pinpointing and addressing your unique headache triggers is key to resolving the pain.

Meet Your Headache Specialist Physical Therapists

Dr. Morgan Kennedy, DPT, TPI, FDN, CIMT, CAFS, brings years of experience successfully treating headache patients. She’ll complete a thorough assessment and customize the optimal combination of manual therapy, postural correction, aerobic conditioning, and stress reduction techniques to prevent and resolve your headaches.

We look forward to welcoming you as a valued patient!

Start Your Path to Drug-Free Headache Relief Today

If you’re fed up with constant headaches disrupting your days and keeping you from fully engaging in activities you love, take control. Call 734-972-6529 or click here now to schedule a consultation. Our caring team will listen and craft an effective headache treatment plan just for you. Life doesn’t have to revolve around headaches – there’s relief and freedom ahead with On Track Physiotherapy physical therapy!

About The Author

Dr. Greg Schaible ignites movement in patients facing sports injuries. His years of dedication unlocks physical potential for a better quality of life. At On Track Physiotherapy in Ann Arbor, Dr. Greg Schaible wields a patient-centered approach, wielding cutting-edge techniques and bespoke care plans to conquer a vast array of physical challenges.

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Hannah Linna

I cannot recommend Greg enough! I came to him in crisis after developing an injury one month before my marathon, but he was able to work with me to safely get me back on the starting line for my race. As a runner, I am no stranger to injury and have seen a handful of PTs in my life, but I can confidently say that Greg’s knowledge, training, and skills are the best I’ve worked with! I now consider dry needling to be a crucial part of my running recovery.

Mary Deis

Greg is remarkable. I am not an athlete but an active older woman. I had a very painful injury and Greg was able to get me back in shape. Unlike traditional physical therapy Greg himself treats you for your entire visit. He walks you through an exercise program and gives you instructions to follow at home. In my case he followed up with a dry needling and massage of the injured area which was very helpful. You never feel rushed. He listens to your concerns about your initial injury and any other ache or pain you might have. He’s very professional but also fun to chat with during your session. I look forward to my visits and will definitely call him again for treatment.