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Migraines Specialist

Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center

Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation located in Greenbelt, MD & Olney, MD

Migraines are a type of chronic headache that affects up to 12% of people in the United States. The primary treatment for migraines includes medications to prevent the headache and manage symptoms during an attack. However, there are non-medication treatments for migraines, including physical therapy. The team at Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center provides customized treatment plans to improve muscle function and posture and reduce stress that may trigger your migraine. For an active approach to migraines, call the office in Greenbelt, Olney, Bowie, Riverdale, Glen Burnie, Laurel, or Silver Spring, Maryland, or schedule an appointment online. Same-day and next-day appointments are available.

Migraines Q & A

What are migraines?

Migraines are a chronic headache that causes a throbbing sensation that usually only affects one area of the head. The pain that comes with a migraine may last hours or days and cause other symptoms such as sensitivity to light, dizziness, or nausea.

Migraines are common and can affect anyone. However, you may be at greater risk of developing migraines if they run in your family, you have high stress levels, or you smoke.

Treatment for migraines tends to focus on medications to prevent the onset of the head pain and ease symptoms during a migraine. But there are other options like physical therapy.

The team at Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center specializes in treating chronic pain conditions like migraines, using innovative therapies to ease pain and improve quality of life.

What causes migraines?

Researchers are still investigating the underlying cause of migraines but theorize the headaches may occur because of changes in how the brain interacts with the trigeminal nerve, a sensory nerve for the head and face.

An imbalance in brain chemicals, namely serotonin, may also play a role in the development of migraines.

The Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center team notes that many migraine sufferers also present with muscle tightness, weakness, and trigger points in the neck, which may contribute to the pain condition.

The team also has patients with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder that experience muscle tightness and trigger points in the neck. TMJ is a painful condition that affects the hinge joint that connects your jaw to your skull.

How can physical therapy help migraines?

When it comes to migraines, the Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center team focuses on treating the muscular problems, posture impairments, and vestibular symptoms (dizziness) that occur with migraines.

Before making any treatment recommendations, the team conducts an initial assessment, reviewing your medical history and evaluating the structure and function of your head, neck, and back. 

They use the information gathered to create your functional goals and treatment plan, which might include:

  • Manual therapy
  • Exercise therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)
  • Cervical traction
  • Deep friction massage
  • Pressure point release
  • Myofascial release
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Posture training
  • Vestibular therapy

The team also uses many of these same techniques when treating patients with TMJ. The goal of physical therapy is to improve your body mechanics to reduce stress and the onset of pain.

Your physical therapist talks to you about your condition and your treatment options and adjusts your plan and goals as needed.

For an alternative approach to migraines or TMJ, call Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center or schedule an appointment online today.