Headaches can result from many different factors, musculoskeletal issues being a good reason for the use of physical therapy. Some different types of headaches that Wallace Physical Therapy treats are Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and headaches resulting from motor vehicle accidents.


Migraine headaches may occur with a feeling of tension and discomfort in the neck, and resulting in debilitating pain.  Although this tension is thought to be secondary to the migraine (not the cause of it), stretching exercises can sometimes be useful in helping to reduce the discomfort and Wallace Physical Therapy can teach these stretches.  Migraine is a centrally-mediated pain disorder. This means that there is a disorder in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), involving the nerves and blood vessels, which results in the pain and the neurologic symptoms associated with a migraine headache. Whereas medications affect the central nervous system in an attempt to address dysfunction, physical therapy primarily involves work on the muscles and joints in the peripheral system. This means that how an individual migraine sufferer responds to physical therapy depends partly on the extent to which the muscles and joints are involved in his or her headache.


Tension headaches are very common. Unfortunately, they're also among the most neglected and difficult types of headaches to treat. Pain is caused by tightness (contraction) of your neck, and scalp muscles. With a tension headache, the pain often starts at the back of your head and moves forward, so that it eventually includes your neck, scalp, and head. It's often described as feeling like you have a tight band across your head. It may be caused by staying in one position for a long time, such as in reading, using a computer, or playing video games. It may be also caused by stress, but sometimes there is no obvious cause. If your headaches happen 15 or more days in a month, for several months, they are considered chronic tension headaches. If these occur less frequently, they’re called episodic tension headaches. 


The joints of the upper cervical spine can also be culprits in referring pain into the head. These joints can be injured in an accident, or can develop increasing stiffness and pain gradually over time. The physical therapist's job is to help restore mobility in these joints and correct muscle imbalances, poor postures, and physical activities that contributed to the problem in the first place. Problems with the joints and the muscles often occur together and contribute to one another, thus both must be adequately addressed for effective pain control to result.


Certain physical therapy techniques used during a headache (especially at the beginning) can help to reduce the pain of the attack at least temporarily. Patients can be taught the best way to utilize modalities such as ice and relaxation, stretches and mild exercise, and massage techniques.  Wallace Physical Therapy utilizes ultrasound, electrical stimulation, mechanical traction and manual traction to help ease the pain and tension.  For motor vehicular accidents, Wallace Physical Therapy will coordinate with the various insurance companies that may be involved.


< Physical Therapist Services


Main Office

5501 N Oracle Rd #101
Tucson, AZ 85704


Phone: 520-408-9547
Fax: 520-408-8145



Orange Grove Office

1925 W Orange Grove Rd #204

Tucson AZ 85704


Phone: 520-297-1550

Fax: 520-297-1556


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