Have you ever sitting for a long time and get headache? This headache does not only occur as a result of stress at work but also muscle contraction which if it is not treated properly, it will become chronic headache and affect the sleep pattern and daily lives.
Although there are many factors leading to headache, one of the most common reasons behind headaches is the muscle contraction in the neck or shoulder region. When neck and shoulder muscles become tense or contract, tension headache happens which is mostly found among people who have high level of stress, lack of exercise and not take care of themselves or people whose activities require a lot of shoulder and neck muscles. People who have long-term stress will have a dull, aching pain at the back of the head, squeezing pain or tightness on one side or both sides of the head together with pain behind the eyes. Headache will become severe if it has been treated improperly. The pain radiates toward neck and shoulder, in some cases, with numbness in the hand. Headache may not be severe for the patient but it can disrupt their life and cause more stress to patients.
Evaluation Process to find the cause of “Headache”
If the physician assesses that headache does not result from stroke or vertigo, the physician will do clinical history taking associated with daily life behavior such as inappropriate sitting posture, tense shoulder and neck in one same position for a long period, lack of regular exercise or work-related stress. All these factors can lead to headache together with muscle contraction in the area of neck, shoulder and back.
Physical therapy: one of the treatments of tension headache
Physical therapy can be one choice of treatment for patients who have headache caused by muscle contraction in the area of neck and shoulder because it helps relax muscle tension, improve blood circulation and help relieve the headache symptoms. Physical therapy also includes improving posture to prevent recurring symptoms or worse symptoms. Headache treatment by physical therapy Physical modalities are used by physical therapist to reduce muscle tension such as shortwave diathermy to stimulate blood flow and relax tight muscles. Compared with message, a targeted tissue is relaxed without causing pain or sore muscles After the muscles are relaxed, stretching the tight muscles that have contracted with suitable posture will be performed by physical therapist in order to correct muscle imbalance. Headache pain can be relieved after only one physical therapy treatment and the duration of the treatment is approximately one hour to one hour and a half. After the treatment by physical modalities, physical therapist will suggest ways to relax the muscles and how to exercise to build the muscles including practice good posture while sitting at work or during everyday activities for headache relief that might recur from muscle contraction in the neck and shoulder area.
Which group of patient should not be treated by Physical Therapy?
Although the physical therapy is safe but precaution should be taken among patients as follows:
1.Patients who do not receive the right diagnosis of headache. Although physical therapy helps the muscle to relax and ease symptoms of headaches, finding the root cause of problem should be done to get rid of headache appropriately and safely.
2.Patients who have an accident and get shoulder and neck injuries together with headache. Headache problem should be diagnosed to find out whether the head pain is caused by bone or muscle so that the safe and appropriate physical therapy will be provided according to the correct problem.
3.Patients who have fever and muscle pain, the fever needs to be treated first.