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Physical Therapy Treatments for Migraines

Migraines are on one side of the head and shift from side-to-side. They are typically described as throbbing/pulsating and are moderate-to-severe in intensity. Episodes typically last 4-72 hours. Migraine headaches may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, aura and/or sensitivity to light and sound. 

Physical therapy for migraines is less researched than cervicogenic and tension-type headaches, but physical therapy can still play an important role in migraine management. Treatments include:

  • Manual therapy to the neck to improve mobility
  • Neck strengthening exercises
  • Dry needling to reduce muscular tension 
  • Stretching exercises to the neck muscles
  • Upper back manual therapy and exercises 
  • Education and identifying specific triggers: diet, sleep, postural habits, stressors, hydration, exercise

To assess the effectiveness of our interventions, we will have you thoroughly track your migraines (i.e., how often they occur, intensity, duration, etc.) and will make adjustments accordingly. Most optimal treatment may involve multidisciplinary care. 

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