Can Physiotherapy Help Tension Headache?

Blogs, / By Koh Peh Chia

Oh no! Headache again?! Many of us have experienced headaches which can affect our mood, and performance at work, activities and sports. Some can suffer multiple episodes of headaches from a few times a week to months. This blog post will help you to understand more about tension-type headaches and discuss how Physiotherapy help your headache as a drug-free solution.

What is Tension Headache?

Tension headache is the most common type of headache. Stress and muscle tension around the neck and shoulders are often factors in these headaches. They do cause a steady ache and tend to affect both sides of the head. Tension headaches may be chronic, occurring often, or every day.

Triggers of tension headaches include:

  • poor posture
  • dental problems (such as clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth)
  • a sinus infection
  • caffeine
  • emotional stress
  • lack of sleep etc

Can Physiotherapy Help Tension Headache?

Yes. Aside from taking pain killers, physiotherapy can also effectively help in alleviating your headache in these 4 ways:

1. Identifying overall health habits

The physiotherapist will assess and analyse what are the causes of your tension headache. These could be from your daily sitting posture to your sleeping position too.

2. Trigger point massage or massage therapy

Releasing tension around your jaw muscles, temporalis muscles and neck and shoulder muscles can give you great relief.

3. Joint mobilisation

Joint mobilization on the stiff neck could help your tension headache, especially on upper cervical joints

4. Strengthening and stretching exercises

Strengthening your chewing muscles is important from preventing a tension headache occur. Stretching and resistive exercises for postural muscles will be prescribed to address postural imbalance issues during the physiotherapy session.

Can My Pillow Trigger My Headache?

Yes. Unfortunately, a non-supportive pillow or one not suited to your neck can worsen to neck pain or tension-type headache. It is wise to ask for your physiotherapist’s professional advice regarding what pillow style and size they would recommend for you.

Below are 2 short clips from our physiotherapist on how to sleep on a contour pillow.

If you have any more questions or would like our physiotherapists to assess or treat your pain, feel free to drop us a question or talk to us. Do check out our Instagram page too!

Peh Chia
Rehab Pilates Therapist

Through her clinical experience, she then gained valuable experience in treating professional dancers and gymnastics athletes. Her interest in pre and post-natal physiotherapy was piqued as she finds women having difficulties maintaining an active lifestyle pre and post-childbirth. She then pursued a STOTT Rehab Pilates Instructor certification to help with this group and women. She also highlights her belief that prevention is a better way to handle injuries.

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