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Did you know that physical therapists treat headaches?  That’s right, physical therapy for headaches is a specialty at Apex Manual Therapy.




The majority of people will experience a headache at some point in their lives. Minor headaches are often not treated by medical providers because symptoms tend to quickly resolve on their own. When you battle chronic headaches or if head pain becomes intense it can become a distraction from work and life.  You need headache relief before it has a serious effect on your quality of life.   

Get Headache or Migraine Treatment Without a Referral

As of September 1st, 2019, patients in Texas can be treated by a physical therapist without a referral, as long as the physical therapist holds a doctorate degree or has advanced training from a residency or fellowship program. This allows patients in the Pflugerville, TX area to immediately start treatment at APEX Manual Therapy. 

Our advanced physical therapists have obtained the highest level of orthopedic physical therapy training and are recognized as Fellows of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (FAAOMPT). This educational achievement is beyond the doctorate level. It also guarantees our therapists provide the gold standard care for musculoskeletal conditions, including headache treatment in the Greater Austin area. 

Patients who initiate physical therapy treatment early, spend less overall on healthcare that would otherwise be spent on imaging, testing and visits to various healthcare providers. Early initiation of physical therapy treatment is also correlated to a decreased likely hood of opioid use and addiction.  

If you are experiencing headaches, Apex Manual Therapy is here to help. Residents in the Greater Austin or Pflugerville, Texas area, can schedule a free consultation with our advanced therapists. You’ll spend each visit entirely one-on-one with a FAAOMPT therapist who can provide personalized solutions for headache relief.   

Don’t wait, schedule your free consultation today. We guarantee you’ll see the difference in our approach and your results. 

Types of Headaches 

-Migraine Headache:  A migraine is severe in nature with specific symptoms. Patients with migraine symptoms may experience vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to sounds and smells and visual changes. The pain is described as pulsating and reserved to one side of the head. Migraine headaches usually last between 4-72 hours. Some people report an aura prior to the migraine allowing them to predict when a migraine is about to happen. Anyone at any age can develop a migraine headache, but migraines are more common among women. However, prior to puberty, boys are more affected than girls. Children are more prone to develop migraines if their parents also suffer from migraines.  

-Tension Headache:  Unlike migraine headaches, tension headaches are non-pulsating with feelings of a band around the head. These headaches last 30 minutes to 7 days. Tension headaches do not cause nausea and vomiting, but they will cause sensitivity to sound and smell. This type of headache is not worsened by physical activity.  

-Cervicogenic Headache:  Cervicogenic headaches are caused by a dysfunction of the cervical (neck) spine, which is why they are sometimes referred to as a cervical headache. Patients who experience cervicogenic headaches have decreased motion, joint dysfunctions in the upper cervical spine and decreased strength of the deep neck stabilizer muscles.  Cervicogenic headaches are worsened with poor posture, movement dysfunctions and pressure on the base of the skull or top of the neck. These headaches do not cause vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to sounds and smells or visual changes. People with cervical headaches show significant improvements with physical therapy, specifically manual therapy treatment.

-Indefinable:  The cause of this group of headaches is unknown. More research is needed in this category.  

What Causes Headaches Connected to the Cervical Spine

The three most common causes of cervicogenic headaches are:
    •    Movement dysfunctions

    •    Posture

    •    Macro trauma (a single episode of trauma such a fall or collision)

Common Movement Dysfunctions That Cause Cervical Headaches 

-Poor scapular (shoulder blade) mechanics:  Since the scapula and neck are so close together, they share some of the same muscles and nerves. Therefore, if the scapula is not working correctly, it can cause problems in the cervical spine. The photos below show how the shoulder and neck are connected and can affect one another. A common shoulder movement dysfunction is scapular depression. This means the scapula or shoulder blade functions lower than it should. This type of movement dysfunction places increased compression and strain on the neck. 










-Cervical extension syndrome:  This is a movement dysfunction in which the neck repeatedly moves backward or remains in extension.  The photo below shows extension on the left and flexion on the right. 




When joints repeatedly move or remain in a position other than their ideal posture, the joints and surrounding tissues become strained.

-Cervical rotation syndrome: Cervical rotation syndrome is a movement dysfunction that causes a person’s neck to rotate repeatedly or remain in rotation.  

Cervicogenic Headache Treatment

The first step in headache treatment is to identify the type. Apex Manual Therapy’s advance physical therapists will evaluate your headache symptoms and physical condition to determine the type of headache you have. The evaluation allows your physical therapist to create a custom treatment plan specifically for you.  

Below is a common exercise used to treat headaches. Please keep in mind that treatment plans vary from person to person and this exercise may not be appropriate for your specific condition. The exercise should not cause any pain or discomfort. If it does, stop immediately. Pain is a sign you are not performing the exercise correctly or the exercise is not appropriate for your condition.  



















Don’t hesitate to get the headache relief you need - schedule a Free headache treatment consultation in the Greater Austin area at Apex Manual Therapy.

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Common Movement Dysfunctions That Cause
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