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How an integrative approach can heal headaches and pains

by | Feb 3, 2020

Headaches are ailments that can incapacitate individuals; all of us may have experienced this pain at one point of time or the other. However there are different types of headaches depending on where the pain is originating from. In general, headaches are of three types:

Cervicogenic headaches – secondary headaches arising from neck pains and can often present with a headache accompanied by dizziness. This often results from upper cervical joint impairments and trigger points in the cervical and cranial muscles.

Tension type headaches – that are the most common types of headaches and can be either episodic or chronic. They also meet at least 2 of the following criteria: bilateral location, non-pulsatile pressure, mild or moderate pain, and does not increase with physical activity.

Migraines – can be moderate to extremely painful and can cause throbbing in one particular area that can vary in intensity. Nausea and sensitivity to light and sound are also common symptoms.

While medications for these ailments can only lead to temporary relief, wellness therapies help get to the root of the problem. An integrative approach combines yoga, physical therapy, alternative medicine, massages and nutritional counseling to address an illness or a disease from all possible angles and reach a permanent solution.

An integrative approach by combining yoga and physical therapy can be particularly helpful. For instance, to treat headaches, physical therapists conduct full assessments that will determine other factors contributing to the ailment. Treatment of headache involves a combination of joint and soft tissue mobilization, spinal manipulation techniques, trigger point release, dry needling, postural recommendation and relaxation exercises followed up by a deep cervical and scapular strengthening and endurance program to prevent future headaches. In addition to this, therapeutic exercises are administered to a patient to help to reduce the possibility of pain occurrence in the future.

Similar therapies are used to treat other Cranial and Facial Pain and TMJ Disorder. TMJ dysfunction involves a disorder of the jaw bone joining the skull in which there is extreme pain in an around the area surrounding the jaw. Sometimes TMJ disorders also trigger headaches. Physical Therapy including joint mobilization, myofascial release, dry needling and yoga techniques are used to treat the same. There are similar therapies to treat a range of other conditions like dizziness and vertigo, concussions / traumatic brain injuries etc.

An integrative approach to the treatment of illnesses have been proven to yield quicker and long lasting results and is gaining popularity as a preferred treatment over pain medications.