Headaches are common and will happen to most individuals multiple times throughout their lives. Even though most headaches are not harmful, some kinds can indicate a significant underlying condition. Even though physiotherapy isn't often the first option that is considered when seeking headache relief, it could be really helpful.

Physiotherapy is essential for long-term relief if you suffer from chronic headaches because prescription medicines only provide temporary pain relief. If you're experiencing headaches, get in touch with Suarez Physical Therapy in Las Vegas, to get a long-lasting solution to the problem.

What is a Headache?

Headaches are pain experienced on the face or head that are normally described as a continuous, throbbing, severe, or dull pressure. Headaches can be very different in terms of type, intensity, location, and how often the pain occurs.

Most individuals will suffer from headaches at some point or another throughout their lives. They are the most popular type of pain and a leading cause of missing days in school or at work and doctor's office visits. Normally headaches are considered harmless and go away on their own. However, persistent, severe headaches could make it difficult to go about your regular activities and can lower your standard of living.

Almost all types of headaches can be effectively treated. The difficulty lies in figuring out the type of headache, and its underlying cause, and creating a suitable treatment strategy that would lessen both its intensity and frequency. Physiotherapists are specialists in relieving pain from several sources and they can help you identify the kind of headache you're experiencing.

Physical therapists also specialize in mobility. They improve people's lives by providing hands-on treatment, prescribed mobility, and patient education. You can schedule an evaluation with a physiotherapist directly.

Headache Symptoms

The signs of a particular headache can vary depending on its nature. Tension headaches, which are particularly common in women, normally result in stiffness in the shoulders and neck, sensitivity in the scalp, dull aching pain, and a feeling of pressure around the forehead.

Cluster headaches are characterized by sharp, throbbing discomfort behind the eyes. Due to their severity, cluster headaches are sometimes mistaken for migraines and usually manifest hours after an individual goes to sleep.

Migraines differ from cluster headaches in that they inhibit signs of vomiting and nausea. Other symptoms of a migraine include a pulsating sensation in the patient’s head, sensitivity to sound and light, and pain that only affects one side of the head. Patients suffering from migraines often find it difficult to get out of bed due to the excruciating pain involved.

The following are some of the most common headache symptoms:

  • Head and neck pain.
  • Stiffness in the shoulders and neck.
  • Sensitivity to sound and light.
  • Headache with a throbbing sensation around the forehead.

Types of Headaches

There are over 150 different kinds of headaches. They are classified into two types:

  1. Primary Headaches

This type of headache is caused by overactivity or dysfunction of pain-sensitive head structures. Primary headaches have no symptoms nor a consequence of any underlying condition. Some individuals can have genetic traits that enhance the risk of developing primary headaches.

A primary headache can be classified as follows:

  • Tension headaches.
  • Migraines.
  • NDPH.
  • Cluster headaches.

Some conditions or factors of your lifestyle can cause some primary headaches, such as:

  • Alcohol consumption, especially red wine.
  • Certain meals, such as nitrate-containing processed meats.
  • Nicotine consumption.
  • Alterations in sleep patterns or sleep deprivation.
  • Poor posture.
  • Physical activity, like doing exercises.
  • Missing meals.
  • Sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose, laughing, straining when having a bowel, or crying aloud.

Although primary headaches are usually not harmful, they could be excruciatingly unpleasant and affect your daily activities.

  1. Secondary Headaches

This type of headache results from an underlying medical problem. Secondary headaches are regarded as a sign or symptoms of an illness. Secondary headaches which are not necessarily harmful and disappear once the underlying problem is addressed include:

  • Dehydration headache.
  • Sinus headaches.
  • Headache resulting from a medication misuse.

A secondary headache that could be a symptom of a severe or potentially life-threatening disease includes:

Spinal Headaches

This is the most common cause of severe headaches following a spinal tap is spinal fluid leakage from the membrane encasing the spinal cord. Most spinal headaches can be treated at home. However, a persistent, untreated spinal headache could lead to potentially fatal effects like seizures and subdural hematoma.

Thunderclap Headaches

These are highly intense headaches that occur unexpectedly, similar to a thunderclap. This type of headache can last for not less than 5 minutes before the peak intensity is reached. Even though a thunderclap headache occasionally isn't harmful, it is still important to seek help immediately.

The signs could include: 

  • Bleeding in the brain tissues.
  •  Head trauma.
  • Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome.
  • A sharp, and rapid upsurge in a person’s blood pressure.

What Distinguishes a Migraine From a Headache?

A migraine is a form of primary headache disease. Migraines are a common neurological disorder that involves several symptoms, the most prominent of which is a pulsating headache on one side of the head. Migraines are often aggravated by physical activities, sounds, lights, or scents. They often last at least 4 hours and sometimes several days.

Can Physiotherapy Help Relieve Headaches?

A physiotherapist is likely to be able to aid with headache relief. If there are no warning signs, your physiotherapist will assess you and decide on the best course of treatment for your headache because they are trained to look for illnesses that might need additional medical attention.

Most individuals will find that physical therapy is highly beneficial in treating headaches. The key to obtaining long-lasting relief is to work closely with a professional physiotherapist to select the most suitable type of treatment.

The outcome is determined by a variety of circumstances, such as the underlying cause of your pain. Physical therapy is often quite effective in completely relieving headaches.

Types of Treatable Headaches

Although experiencing headaches is a normal thing, there are a variety of distinct types of headaches. To be relieved, each one requires a particular treatment method. A physiotherapist can assist you in determining if you need to seek more aggressive treatment from your physician. Here are some of the different kinds of headaches.


Migraine is not common, yet these are among the most severe and debilitating headaches people encounter. They are often accompanied by additional symptoms, like light sensitivity or painful neck throbbing. When suffering from a migraine, some individuals find that staying in a silent, dark room is the only thing that helps them feel better. In the most severe cases, these migraines can linger for several hours to several days and could be extremely painful.

Migraines can be caused by stress, sensitivities to certain foods, hormonal imbalances, or a variety of other factors. Some individuals also have neck pain, which could be a trigger for migraines. Physical therapy is often quite beneficial, but it's always crucial to identify the underlying problem if possible, and address it.

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are a common occurrence for most people. These happen around one's head and often feel like there is a tight band wrapped around the head. Sometimes people report a dull feeling, while others report aches around that area. Although a tension headache typically doesn't cause any throbbing sensations, it can cause tension and discomfort in the upper neck and shoulders.

There is a wide range of potential triggers for tension headaches. There are times when they are caused by stress, particularly if the stress is persistent. In other cases, bad posture could be to blame. People who have weak muscles in the shoulders, neck, or adjacent regions are more likely to suffer from chronic tension headaches.

Even though tension headaches are very prevalent, physical therapy has the potential to lessen both the frequency with which they occur and the severity of the headaches that they cause. Although it could be challenging to identify and minimize the specific cause of the headaches, physiotherapy is a great option for devising a treatment strategy that will reduce your pain and enhance your standard of living.

Cervicogenic Headaches

Cervicogenic headaches are another form of headache that is quite common. These headaches are brought on by issues with a patient's upper cervical spine. This region of your body is responsible for controlling a substantial portion of the subtle motions that take place in the neck. This region has large numbers of muscles, all of which must work with one another to give you control over both your head and neck. Here, headaches can develop for a variety of reasons, including joint stiffness or muscle stiffness.

Cervicogenic headaches normally feel non-throbbing and can range in intensity from a mild headache to a severe one. Some of these symptoms include reduced neck flexibility, soreness in the shoulders, shoulder blades, and arms, as well as blurred vision in one eye. Often, the pain may appear to be spreading to the temples and the rear of your head.

The Role of a Physical Therapist in Managing Headaches

As part of the evaluation process, your physiotherapist will look into your medical background. They will evaluate you by conducting tests and asking you questions to figure out the most probable root of the headaches.

For illustration, the physical therapist can instruct you to:

  • Remember any past jaw, neck, or head traumas you may have had.
  • Detail the location, behavior, and nature of the pain as well as any other symptoms you may have.
  • Identify the regions that hurt on a body chart.

Your physiotherapist will also:

  • Conduct tests to evaluate the muscle's strength as well as its sensation.
  • Check your posture while standing, sitting, and participating in different activities.
  • Check the motion range in the shoulders, neck, and other essential body parts.
  • Utilize manual physiotherapy to assess the flexibility of your neck's muscles and joints.

Your physiotherapist will engage with you to create a treatment plan that will satisfy your needs if it turns out that you do get headaches caused by muscular spasms. A physiotherapist's headache treatment plan could encompass:

Manual Therapy

Practical hands-on procedures can:

  • Reduce stiffness in the muscles and joints.
  • Increase neck and head mobility.
  • Reduce stress and spasms in the muscles.
  • The performance of the muscles.

In addition, some physiotherapists offer dry needling as a treatment option for certain kinds of headaches.


Certain exercise techniques have been linked to:

  • Lessen the pain.
  • Boost your endurance.
  • Minimize inflammation.
  • Enhance general healing.

Home exercise plans designed specifically for the patient are an integral component of physical therapy.


Patients' education has proven to be beneficial in reducing headache intensity and/or occurrence. Your physical therapy could help you figure out what sets off your symptoms and how to manage them (things like food, sleep, motion or posture habits, stress, and hydration). They could also instruct you on how to utilize a range of relaxation exercises to assist reduce symptoms.

Benefits of Physical Therapy

Your physiotherapist will collaborate with you to determine the root causes of your discomfort and implement solutions to alleviate your symptoms, including teaching you how to avoid future headaches through adjustments of your posture as well as routine. You can benefit from physical therapy sessions by:

Enhanced Neck Flexibility

Manual therapy is a specific technique used by physiotherapists to increase the range of motion, reduce pain, and relax muscles in the back region of the neck.

Boost Your Physical Strength

Your physiotherapist will show you physical exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your upper neck and back. which will enable you to stand or sit for long durations without experiencing pain and better your posture.

Correct Your Posture

Physiotherapists can offer you advice on how to correct your posture. Simple adjustments to daily activities, such as pushing the chest out or bringing the shoulder blades back and together, can significantly improve posture.

Lessen Tension

Stress can make your neck and shoulder muscles tenser, which makes headaches more severe. A physiotherapist can assist you in creating a plan to engage in regular physical activity or workouts to help relieve muscle tightness and stress.

Make any necessary adjustments to your workspace, workplace, as well as your home office. Some recommendations from the physical therapist can be:

  • Utilizing a headset rather than an ordinary phone.
  • Making sure your computer's screen is at eye level and not any lower.
  • Adjusting the mouse's position on the computer.
  • Finding a suitable desk chair.

What Kind of Physiotherapist Do I Need?

Every physical therapist is equipped to treat a range of injuries and conditions thanks to their knowledge and expertise. You might wish to take into account:

  • A physiotherapist with expertise in handling musculoskeletal problems. Physical therapists who specialize in treating mobility issues involving the facial structures and skull are known as craniofacial specialists.
  • A physiotherapist with advanced training in orthopedics or neurology, as evidenced by board certification or residency/fellowship completion in those fields. The extensive training, expertise, and abilities of such a physical therapist could be beneficial in addressing your problem.

Is Physical Therapy Beneficial for a Person Suffering from Migraine?

Since physiotherapy for migraine targets your joints and muscles, each individual's reaction to the therapy could differ. The degree to which your joints and muscles are contributing to the migraine would greatly influence how well you respond to physiotherapy.

Physical therapy could be less helpful for a migraine if:

  • Your migraine occurs infrequently.
  • You possess characteristic symptoms (such as neurologic symptoms like an aura) with distinct triggers.

Tips on Finding a Physiotherapist

Not every physical therapy facility will be able to treat your headache symptoms effectively. The first step is to talk to your healthcare provider about what you need. They'll be able to guide you on the proper path.

In addition, you should investigate potential physical therapists by yourself. As you look for a specialist:

  • Think about what it is that you want and need in a service provider so that you can select one that meets your needs.
  • When in doubt, inquire as to their area of expertise.
  • Ask your service provider how much expertise they have.
  • Make sure your physiotherapist is certified.
  • Find a place that works for you.
  • Be sure you're comfortable with the facility's setting by paying a visit ahead of time.
  • Make sure the institution accepts your insurance when you plan to utilize your medical coverage.

After locating a suitable physical therapist, it is crucial to discuss your specific needs with them. It's important to keep in mind that both you as well as the therapist are a team when it comes to your physical well-being. Communicating your thoughts on what does and does not work is essential if you want to achieve your goals.

It's best to talk to the physical therapist about your concerns or find a new one if you do not feel like they're meeting your needs. If you're suffering from headaches, prioritizing your health should be the primary focus as you explore treatment alternatives.

Find a Las Vegas Physical Therapist Near Me

If you're tired of having headaches disrupting your day, get in touch with us at Suarez Physical Therapy so that you can set up a consultation with one of our experienced physical therapists. Our specialists would be pleased to assess your condition and develop a thorough, personalized treatment regimen that will help relieve your headaches. Call us today at 702-368-6778. We serve the Las Vegas area.