Headaches in Atoka

Request An Appointment

Please fill out this form and
we will contact you about scheduling.

Find Lasting Relief from Headaches in Atoka

If you suffer from frequent tension headaches, migraines, or cervicogenic headaches, you know how debilitating the pain and symptoms can be. Popping pills might provide temporary relief, but medication often fails to address the root causes behind recurrent headaches.

At McMahon Physical Therapy, our specialized physical therapists offer drug-free headache treatment tailored to your unique needs. Through targeted manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, postural training, and patient education, we aim to pinpoint and resolve the underlying factors driving your headaches so you can reduce symptoms and start living pain-free.

Is Physical Therapy Right for Your Headaches?

Physical therapy provides a holistic approach to treating headaches and their causes, not just the symptoms. We focus on identifying factors that trigger or exacerbate headaches, such as:

  • Muscle tension and spasms, especially in the neck and shoulders
  • Poor posture and ergonomics that strain the neck
  • Joint dysfunction or decreased mobility in the cervical spine
  • Imbalances that disrupt optimal neck and shoulder function

By addressing these issues through hands-on manual therapy techniques, targeted exercises, and postural retraining, physical therapists can effectively manage headache pain and frequency. Physical therapy empowers you to take an active role in controlling headaches.

Physical therapy can benefit individuals with:

  • Tension headaches
  • Migraines
  • Cervicogenic headaches
  • Headaches with neck pain or stiffness
  • Chronic headache issues unresolved with medication

The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Headache Treatment in Atoka

Physical therapy offers a drug-free, non-invasive solution for gaining control over recurrent headaches. Benefits include:

Targeted Treatment of Root Causes: Unlike pain medications that just mask symptoms, our therapists address factors directly contributing to headaches like muscle tension, joint dysfunction, and poor posture. Treating root causes results in better outcomes and sustainable relief.

Improved Neck Mobility and Function: Increase neck flexibility, strength, and range of motion through targeted stretches, exercises, and manual techniques. Enhancing mobility and correcting muscle imbalances alleviate headache triggers.

Customized Treatment Plans: No two headaches are exactly alike. We tailor our treatments to your unique headache diagnosis, pain patterns, posture issues, lifestyle factors, and goals. Personalized care delivers optimal results.

Empowerment Through Education: Learn strategies for preventing headaches, improving posture and ergonomics, managing stress, and more. Our therapists provide education so you can take an active role in managing headaches.

What to Expect During Your First Physical Therapy Visit

Your first appointment focuses on thoroughly evaluating your condition to pinpoint the factors driving your headaches. We then design a data-driven treatment plan targeted to your needs.

Comprehensive Evaluation

Our physical therapists perform a series of assessment tests evaluating:

  • Joint dysfunction and muscle tightness
  • Posture and neck alignment
  • Cervical spine mobility and strength
  • Ergonomics and lifestyle factors

We also discuss your specific headache symptoms, location and timing of pain, frequency, and effects on daily life. Identifying contributing issues and patterns is key for successful treatment.

Customized Treatment Plan

Using evaluation findings, we design an integrated treatment plan including:

  • Manual therapy to improve joint mobility and muscle function
  • Targeted exercises to build strength, flexibility, and endurance
  • Postural correction and re-training
  • Patient education for self-management and prevention

We establish treatment schedules based on severity and access to care. Acute issues may require 2-3 visits per week while chronic headaches may need 1-2 sessions weekly. Sessions typically last 30-60 minutes.

Manual Therapy for Tension Relief

Manual techniques applied by our skilled therapists help relax muscle tension, restore proper motion to the cervical spine, and decrease headache pain originating from the neck. We commonly utilize:

  • Joint Mobilization – Low-force, gentle joint manipulation reduces stiffness, improves mobility, and alleviates pain caused by hypermobile joints.
  • Myofascial Release – Apply sustained pressure to ease muscle and connective tissue restriction. Restoring healthy tissue mobility alleviates myofascial trigger points associated with headaches.
  • Trigger Point Therapy – Using ischemic pressure and other methods, we deactivate painful knotted areas (trigger points) within muscle linked to cervicogenic headaches.
  • Cervical Traction – Gentle stretching of the neck via traction devices relieves pressure on cervical joints and nerves, easing headaches stemming from neck issues.

Therapeutic Exercises for Headache Prevention in Atoka

We prescribe targeted exercise regimens to address specific limitations, weaknesses, and postural habits related to your headaches.
Therapeutic exercises:

  • Enhance muscle strength to better support the neck and shoulders
  • Improve cervical mobility and flexibility
  • Promote optimal neck and shoulder biomechanics and function
  • Correct postural issues causing increased headache frequency

Our therapists choose appropriate exercises based on evaluation findings. We focus on proper technique and safe progression outside of painful ranges. Typical exercises include chin tilts, shoulder shrugs, scapular squeezes, and neck rotations performed in standing, seated, or supine positions using body weight, resistance tubing, or light weights. We also address ergonomic factors with posture education and retraining for daily positions and computer use. Improving posture alleviates cervical strain driving tension headaches.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long until I see improvement in my headaches with physical therapy?
Most patients experience gradual relief of pain and symptoms over 4-6 weeks of active treatment. True resolution of chronic headaches requires identifying and resolving root causes over 3-6 months depending on history and contributing factors. Inform your therapist if your symptoms fail to improve within the first few weeks so we can modify your program as needed.

What types of headaches can physical therapy help resolve?
Our services benefit patients with cervicogenic headaches stemming from neck and upper back dysfunctions, migraines exacerbated by neck tension, and tension headaches related to muscle knots and trigger points. Headaches with non-mechanical causes may see less symptom change. Your therapist determines if your particular headaches can be alleviated through conservative care.

Will I need to avoid any activities while having headaches and undergoing treatment?
Avoiding activities and positions provoking severe headache symptoms will facilitate recovery. However, remaining as active as possible while respecting pain levels optimizes outcomes. Low to moderate intensity exercise like walking aids recovery. Your therapist provides activity guidelines tailored to your situation. Inform us if any prescribed activities worsen symptoms so we can adjust accordingly.

Is physical therapy sufficient or should I continue medical treatments?
Physical therapy can decrease headache frequency and intensity when musculoskeletal factors significantly contribute to symptoms. However, we often recommend patients continue other beneficial treatments as needed, especially for severe migraine cases. Communicate with all healthcare providers to determine optimal supplementary care.

Take Control of Your Headaches in Atoka with Personalized Physical Therapy

If you are looking for lasting relief from recurrent headaches without medication side effects, consider physical therapy. Through hands-on manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and patient education we identify and treat the root causes driving your pain rather than just suppressing symptoms. We empower each patient with the tools and knowledge to better prevent and manage headaches for improved function and quality of life. Contact us today to schedule a thorough initial evaluation and start down the path to overcoming your headaches.

About The Author

Imagine overcoming limitations and regaining your physical strength. Ken McMahon, a licensed Physical Therapist in physical therapy, has helped countless individuals like you do just that. Practicing at McMahon Physical Therapy in Atoka, Ken McMahon believes in tailored care and utilizes innovative techniques to create unique solutions for each patient’s journey.