Headaches are often caused by disorders of the neck or physical and emotional tension. Studies show that cervical headaches account for between 15% and 20% of all chronic and recurrent headaches. Cervical headaches stem from musculoskeletal dysfunctions that include abnormal upper cervical joint mobility, trigger points in the cervical muscles, and decreased strength and endurance in the deep cervical flexors. Cervical headaches are the most common persistent symptom following neck trauma; poor sitting posture and stress are also often associated with headaches of cervical origin.
Tim has significant training in treating headaches and helped teach a course on headaches with his mentor Peter Boyle.
SMART PT's approach to treating headache
The successful management of headaches relies on an accurate diagnosis of their origin. At SMART PT, we evaluate your symptoms and look for patterns that indicate the cause of your headache. Depending on the cause of your headache, your therapy may include:
- Joint mobilization, especially in the upper cervical spine, to increase Range of Motion
- Soft tissue manipulation or release to decrease muscle tightness, and release musculoskeletal trigger points to restore pain-free cervical mobility
- Instruction in relaxation techniques and proper Diaphragmatic breathing
- Education about posture and movement to restore neutral joint and muscle position at rest and to facilitate pain-free and stress-free movement patterns. Getting head control with the local muscles of the neck.
- Self-mobilization and exercises designed to help you maintain normal, pain-free mobility and function.
"I have been suffering for many years with headaches, jaw pain, dizzy spells, and severe neck problems. I met Tim about a year ago after many years of trying to find something that would help my pain. When I first met Tim he recognized my dizziness issue right away and believed we could carefully treat the neck and jaw without aggravating the dizziness, and that maybe the neck was involved in my dizziness problem. My severe neck and jaw problems were from a severe car crash and a bus accident in grammar school when I hit my head. He explained to me how head injuries can cause the upper neck joints to work incorrectly and could lead to the symptoms I was experiencing in my head, jaw and neck. The techniques Tim did in Physical Therapy were gentle and they helped my neck and jaw pain quite quickly. The amazing surprise is that the treatment also helped my chronic dizziness. Tim knew from the beginning that his would likely help because of the abnormal alignment or movement in my upper neck from his testing me the first day. I had gone to a chiropractor but he was never able to get to the main problem. Tim added some gentle exercises to help me keep the improvements in motion and strength and helped me improve my posture.
I am so happy I met Tim because today I am free of dizzy spells and my neck and jaw do not bother me anymore."