“I’ve had headaches for the last year. Soft tissue work can help but the pain returns soon after I stop. I have tried PT and Chiropractic help, but nothing is working..”
Said a frustrated Tom (age 32) who lives in Dallas, who started to have headaches and nerve pain into his head after doing Cross Fit classes almost 1 years ago…
He’d been suffering from that deep ‘tooth-ache’ like feeling in his head and when it is bad he will have nerve pain on both sides of his head. He had shoulder issues about 1 ½ years ago and started to notice after his workouts his head would hurt and now he has his pain in the head daily.
Could this be happening to you?
Headaches are common with neck and shoulder issues. Most people do not even look into the shoulder as a problem. It is common to have tightness around the shoulder that is missed. And this is one of the common places I have to look to help with people who have headaches and even neck pain..
Because of the tightness in your shoulder you compensated by elevating your shoulder with over head strengthening and sitting and working on the computer.
There are many misconceptions today about how you should fix headaches.
Unfortunately, like Tom, I’ve found too many people have become victims of bad medical advice when treating their neck pain and headaches. This often leads to months (even years) of unnecessary neck and heachach suffering.
“I’ve tried rest, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, and nothing has helped. I’m still in pain daily, but mostly when I sit long or workout now. I don’t want to be on medications my whole life, please help!”
At the time he’d injured himself, during his ‘cross fit’ workouts, he was workout out 6 days a week, was looking great, feeling confident, and loving life…
But when his neck pain and headaches struck, it didn’t just take away his ability to exercise…
Sitting, driving, bending, working and just doing normal daily tasks wore on him.
He had tried EVERYTHING:
He tried Physical Therapy at another location doing soft tissue work, traction and stretching.
He tried Acupuncture.
He even tried doing chiropractic care, but nothing was giving him any lasting relief.
It had gotten to the point where she considered taking heavy doses of medication, but he was fearful of how he was going to be able to work and drive with the medications.
Why weren’t these treatments working?
Tom, like so many others had fallen into the trap of trying to fix the ‘symptom’ of pain.
He had spent countless hours (and dollars) on PT, Massage, Chiropractic, and Acupuncture trying to fix the symptoms and not getting to the source of the problem…
Even though those treatments temporarily got rid of the pain, it was making his injury worse as it would return.
Why was it making it worse?
Like ‘picking a scab’ that is trying to heal…
The more he tried to stretch and massage the NECK the more irritated it became…
But TOM was FINALLY able to find relief by focusing his attention on correcting postures, focusing on the shoulder and the neck to take strain off the upper neck (instead of doing treatment only on his neck.)
What do I mean by taking strain OFF the upper neck?
You can choose to believe it or not, but everything in our body is truly “connected.”
And a combination of old injuries, poor posture and bad habits all placed tension and pressure ON the neck..
and THIS was causing his ‘Headaches’.
This is a phenomenon known as ‘compensation’…
And for Tom, we identified FOUR areas of his body which had been largely ignored since he’d been SO focused on trying to fix the ‘symptom’ of his headaches.
His Pectoralis and Shoulder was tight (Because he lacked full movement in his shoulder, created compensation with arm movements, which can create ‘pulling’ on your neck. And for Tom, it came from tons of working out, driving, and sitting)
Weakness in the lower scapular muscles. This created compensation and elevation of his R shoulder with sitting and working out and doing any type of overhead activities.
Lack of mobility in his neck – This was creating muscle spasms to protect his upper neck. This made it impossible for him to look down and turn his head without pain. By the way most people move the wrong way to alleviate the spasms…
Tightness and tension on his ‘good side’ which was always ignored. He had spent the better part of almost 1 year ‘stretching’ his painful side, but since he never did anything for her non-painful side, it created more of an ‘imbalance’.
And by addressing these problems with a mixture of:
Hands-on therapy techniques to mobilize the neck and shoulder which then released the tightness and allow more mobility in his spine. The lack of hip mobility creates the spine to compensate (which is never addressed)
Getting rid of old scar tissue and ‘knots’ in the muscles along his right shoulder and regain strength on the R side. With all this tightness and lack of mobility your muscle will not fire to get stronger.
Alleviating the tension off the angry, spasmed muscles by doing usually the one motion that is right for your body. You can see the change in your range of motion often in 1-3 visits. You get to the source of the problem and the spasms go away.
Teaching her the proper body mechanics with sitting and correcting the proper form with his ‘exercises’
The muscles in his neck started to let go…
And FINALLY, He found relief…
…and the neck pain? the Headaches?
it simply MELTED away…
And as a result?
He’s back to exercising with NO pain. (and with much better form and body awareness)
Did NOT need any form of injection or medication
He could finally drive to work, running, workout out, and just get back to living his normal life without feeling the constant burden and stress from his headaches.
By taking a big-picture, full-body approach to rehab, Tom was finally able to heal.
Could YOUR ‘headaches’ be coming from somewhere else in your body?
If you’ve been struggling with headaches for longer than a month, and you want to learn more about what these ‘root causes’ could be…
At mPower Physical Therapy in Dallas, we offer FREE Discovery visits to see if we can help you and for you to see if we are a good fit for you for FREE! CLICK HERE if you want to learn more about that and you live in Dallas.
You will have a private session with a movement specialist here at mPower Physical Therapy where you’ll get the chance to:
Share you concerns, problems and frustrations you may be having
Meet us in person, to see if we’re a good fit before you ever decide to work with us
A glimpse into your own ‘mobility profile’ to help you see exactly what could be causing your injury, and tell you the possible ‘root cause’ of WHY you may be hurting.
All you need to do is fill out this web-from, and tell us a bit more about what’s going on, and we will have a conversation about how we may be able to help.