Manual physical therapists are uniquely qualified to treat muscle imbalance and joint dysfunction associated with chronic headaches. Patients with migraines, chronic tension headaches, occipital neuralgia, eye, or ear pain, all have something in common-active trigger points in the jaw, face, neck, and upper back. Physical therapists at Brown-Rogers provide a comprehensive evaluation for patients with headaches, including assessment of posture, alignment, musculature, and trigger point pain patterns in the jaw, face, neck, and upper back.
Physical therapists at Brown-Rogers use a variety of manual therapy techniques to improve the head and neck posture, as well as decrease pain. These may include trigger point release, myofascial release, deep and soft tissue massage, joint mobilizations, manual stretching, and functional dry needling. In addition, patients actively participate in a postural stabilization program. As headaches become less frequent and less intense, patients are instructed in specific home management programs to restore muscle balance and normal function.
When managing a diagnosis as sensitive as chronic headache, it is important that a clinician understands pain pathology and how headache comorbidities manifest in the jaw, head, neck, and upper back. Claire Melebeck, PT, DPT, has studied pain science and the pathophysiology intrinsic to headaches. She has been successful in headache management with the use of manual therapy techniques.