How Physical Therapy Helps Headaches and Migraines

If you frequently experience headaches or migraines, you know how excruciating painful and frustrating they can be. Headaches can be debilitating to living your everyday life. At Spooner Physical Therapy, we work with many patients to help treat their headaches and migraines. Patients are very frustrated once they have decided to come to physical therapy because they have usually exhausted many other avenues for help, such as, medication, their primary care doctor, or home remedies. When they have had a good experience with their treatment, and their headaches pain is alleviated, it is rewarding for both the patient and the therapist!

Get Relief

There’s no reason to suffer or wait out your headache, physical therapy can help with relief!  Headaches are not annoyances, and migraines are not a mystery, even though you may feel that way when trying to find treatment. Some patients even feel that they can’t get through the physical therapy session because of an active migraine or headache. There’s ample research on how to address the impact of your physical elements, such as tension, malalignments and so forth, can be addressed to help relieve symptoms.



While many headaches can’t be linked to any one cause, we do know that they can be caused by tension in the muscles around the neck and head, or joint restrictions within the neck, as well as muscle tension. Stress can also be a root cause of headaches, and even though physical therapists are amazing at treating your symptoms and pain, they can’t necessarily wipe the stress out of your life. Physical therapists address the symptoms of stress, such as tight neck, sore shoulders or limited head movement. Generally, a buildup of tension and stress that can result in searing migraines and throbbing headaches.

Physical therapist utilize a variety of techniques to help with decreasing the buildup of tension in your neck and shoulders. Some of the techniques include dry needling, joint mobilizations, stretching, soft tissue mobilization and trigger point release. The goal is to increase blood flow, developing a broader range of motion in the neck and head, releasing tension, and creating a path for smoother, increased movement.

Your first line of defense is avoiding environmental triggers as much as possible. No doubt, you’re familiar with many of these by now, such as bright lights, alcohol, sleep deprivation or certain medications. Drinking a lot of water and regular massages can also help.

Spooner Physical Therapy offers complimentary screens in order to talk to you about your symptoms, walk you through our approach and discuss next steps.

For more information contact:
Ryne Foster, PT, DPT, OCS,
FAFS Clinic Director Spooner
Physical Therapy Desert Ridge
20830 N. Tatum Blvd,
Suite 170 Phoenix, AZ
Telephone: 480–502–5510