HeadachesHeadache Relief in Wasilla, Alaska
Northern Edge Physical Therapy in Wasilla is the right choice for your treatment. We are the only physical therapy practice in the state of Alaska that offers clients excellence in physical therapy with specialized programs such as; Dry Needling, Redcord, AlterG Anti-gravity Treadmill, Low-level Laser Therapy, and Massage Therapy.
Headaches are quite common but the condition is poorly understood. There is a stark difference between minor headaches that ruin your day and severe headaches that keep you from functioning. The problem must be defined appropriately to get results with treatment. There are three major categories of headaches:
Primary headaches – Includes the main types of headaches: Migraines, Cluster, Tension headaches. Migraines typically involve a prodrome which is a signal of the oncoming headache. Cluster headaches are quite rare but can be debilitating. Both of these types of headaches are typically treated with medication. Tension headaches are typically related to improper posture, tight muscles and limited neck mobility.
Secondary headaches – Involves headaches caused by conditions or problems in the head and neck. These are problems that typically require a thorough medical evaluation to rule out serious pathology.
Cranial neuralgias, facial pain, and other headaches- Neuralgia means nerve pain, hence cranial neuralgia is caused by inflammation or irritation of the nerves in the head and upper neck. Facial pain and a variety of other causes for headache are included in this category.
All headaches are multi-factorial– meaning that more than one structure or system is involved. For instance, tight and irritated trapezius muscles along with restricted facet joints in the neck could lead to Tension Headaches. While the limits in different systems (metabolic, emotional, muscular, etc) could lead to migraines. In either case, the symptoms are poorly patterned and injured structures are difficult to isolate.
The challenge with headaches is pinpointing which structures are involved and determining the most promising treatments. Lack of specific diagnosis and treatment may be the reason headaches tends to become chronic. Northern Edge Physical Therapy understands the challenges faced by those suffering headaches. Our examination is designed to be specific allowing us to identify structures which are either causing pain or delaying healing. Our treatment is directed towards the pain and the barriers to healing. We offer specialized programs to help achieve pain-relief and enhance performance.
Why do I HURT?
- Here is what happens: The problem is rarely isolated to one area or a single structure. Often the headache is caused by the sum of many problems involving the musculoskeletal system (muscles, ligaments and joints) and other systems. The problem can be debilitating when the symptoms begin to limit activity and affect quality of life.
- Until you get better: Movement is the fuel of all life and promotes healing. Some movement is better than none especially in the case of headaches. Healing is often delayed in situations where anxiety and fear of re-injury prevents movement.
- Repeat injury: Inflammation prevents nutrients from reaching injured tissues. Some inflammation is natural during the healing process but it can become excessive and persistent due to inactivity, stress, repeated trauma and lack of treatment. Other weakened or deconditioned areas not affected by the original injury can become painful and limited due to persistent inflammation and lack of movement.
- Trigger pain reflex: Pain triggers a reflexive change in movement patterns. Movement becomes unnatural and leads to imbalanced posture, uncontrolled motion and excessive guarding. Pain can easily become a training aide that reshapes movement patterns and alters muscle activation in efforts to protect and shield tissues/joints from further injury. However, just like inflammation this pain driven reflex can become excessive and persistent.