Ask a PT: Headaches and PT

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By: Dr. Jill Murphy, DPT, LAT, CSCS

Question: I suffer from frequent headaches and even see a doctor who is a headache specialist. If physical therapy is helpful for headaches, why didn’t my doctor recommend it?

Answer: Wow! That is the million dollar question! Quite frankly, despite our valiant efforts to educate physicians in the Fox Valley, not many know or remember to share with patients the benefits of manual physical therapy on reducing the frequency and intensity of headaches. However, we have found it is very helpful to not only trial medications, injections, and lifestyle changes to address headaches and migraines, but also to pair physical therapy with those efforts to double the speed at which you feel better. For some patients, even all of those medications and injections do not help their symptoms, and the side effects of these drugs are unpleasant and numerous.

Early in my career I recall treating a mom who had daily headaches for 20 years, but never had the time to seek treatment.  Six physical therapy visits later, she was amazed that her headaches were gone!  She couldn't even remember what a headache-free day had felt like.  Because of this patient's success story and so many others, we try to spread the word about the effectivenss of manual therapy for treating headaches on-line on our website, in the clinic, on our Facebook page, and at every health fair we attend.  Manual physical therapy for headaches works so well for all types of headaches (even vascular!)- please help us spread the word! 

Don’t be afraid to ask you physician to refer you specifically to our headache specialists at MotionWorks Physical Therapy to help you get back to living your normal life so much faster! Or, just refer yourself to MotionWorks by calling 920-215-2050 and make an appointment today, since most insurance plans do not even require a physician referral.