Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

What Are The Most Effective Treatments For Headache?

June 12, 2024

Headaches are one of the most common reasons patients seek care by a Physical Therapist.  In our Boulder Physical Therapy and Lafayette Physical Therapy practices we have found optimal outcomes and fewer visits for treating many headaches types including cervicogenic headaches.  These headaches are driven from the neck (cervical spine) and cause pain referral to the head and neck.  Research has shown about 4% of the general population experiences headaches of this type.  Thankfully, cervicogenic headaches can be effectively treated by Physical Therapists using manual therapy, including spinal manipulation, and dry needling.  A recent review of the literature documents which interventions are most effective for this patient population.

Jung and colleagues published their cervicogenic headache intervention findings in the journal Physical Therapy (2024).  They included 23 randomized controlled trials on patients with cervicogenic headache.  Authors found spinal manipulation and dry needling used together were the most effective intervention to reduce both headache intensity and frequency.  In addition, muscle energy techniques and exercise, soft tissue mobilizations and exercise, and dry needling plus exercise can also be utilized to effectively treat this patient population.  All of the interventions in the study are effectively utilized at our Boulder Physical Therapy and Lafayette Physical Therapy offices.

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