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Headache and Migraine Treatment

treatment for headaches

If you suffer from headaches, you know how debilitating they can be. Fortunately, most headaches can be successfully treated.
At New Body ~ New Mind we have developed expertise in conservative treatment of headaches and associated musculoskeletal disorders (neck disorders, TMJ) using manual therapy, physical therapy and hypnotherapy approaches.

Did you know that over 80% of headaches are caused by chronic tension in the muscles of the scalp, neck, and shoulders? Such muscular headaches are called tension headaches and are myofascial in nature. Read more about tension headaches and myofascial pain >

Joints, discs, or nerves of the neck can also refer pain to the head. Headaches that originate from the structures of the neck are called cervicogenic headaches. Cervicogenic headaches are usually associated with increased tension of the neck muscles, therefore it’s not unusual for cervicogenic headaches to have a tension headache component. Read more about cervicogenic headaches >

Migraine headaches, although not muscular in nature, are frequently accompanied by tightening of the neck muscles. Many of our patients who are migraine sufferers respond favorably to treatment geared towards a decrease of muscular tension in the neck-shoulder region, as evidenced by a significant drop in the frequency and intensity of their migraine attacks.

What is a typical headache treatment at New Body ~ New Mind?

Treatment of muscular and joint-related headaches has been an area of special interest in our practice. When treating headache patients at New Body ~ New Mind, we typically follow the general protocol outlined below. Please keep in mind that specific techniques and treatment modalities we will use when working with you will depend on your individual clinical picture.

We begin with an evaluation to determine possible causes of your headaches. During the evaluation we will:

  • Analyze your medical history
  • Review the history of your headaches, patterns of occurrence, and learn specifics of how your headaches manifest in your body
  • Find out the impact of your headaches on your work and everyday life
  • Examine the alignment of your body
  • Assess the function of the joints of your neck and jaw
  • Evaluate the muscles and the fascia of your neck, shoulders, upper back, and face
  • Based on our findings, we will determine what may be the predisposing, causative, and perpetuating factors for your headaches

Once we understand the possible causes of your headaches, we can start working towards their resolution, utilizing the following treatment modalities:

  • Passive manipulation of tight joints, ligaments, muscles and fascia using manual therapy techniques (e.g., gentle joint mobilization, muscle energy techniques, trigger point release, myofascial release, soft tissue massage, strain-counterstrain); craniosacral therapy may also be beneficial for some patients
  • Ultrasound or electrical stimulation
  • Physical relaxation training and body awareness training
  • Posture re-education and movement retraining
  • Individualized gentle stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Hypnotherapy (if you are interested in learning how to manage stress, develop better posture habits, motivate yourself to exercise, stop clenching or grinding of teeth, or control occasional flare-ups of pain using self-hypnosis)

Once your headache symptoms are significantly decreased, we begin to work on retraining your neck and shoulder muscles to ensure their proper activation during exercise, work and daily activities, while continuing manual therapy as needed. The final goal of your headache treatment is full resolution of your headache symptoms and return to 100% of function.

Throughout the entire treatment process it is essential that you learn what to do in your everyday life to eliminate (or minimize) perpetuating factors and support the therapeutic interventions provided to you in our clinic.

If at any point of your treatment we determine that you would benefit from dental appliance therapy, we will refer you to a dentist who specializes in treatment of headaches (or, if your dentist is a headache specialist, we will be happy to work together with him/her). Read more about our headache treatment philosophy and protocol >

“Two years ago I drove nearly two hours each way to see Teresa for treatment of severe headaches and migraines. I was amazed that within two months of us working together I was feeling 75% better – my baseline headaches were practically resolved (I just felt a sensation of tightness in my head, but there was no pain) and migraine attacks decreased from 2-3 times a week to just 3 in a month. With continued treatment, my headaches completely resolved and my migraines became sporadic (I had just 2 migraine episodes in the last year).” Read more about what former patients say >



Read patient testimonials:

Watch video testimonials and read what our former patients say about headache treatment at New Body ~ New Mind.

Would you like to schedule an appointment?

To schedule an appointment, simply fill out our appointment request form online or give us a call at 617-969-8995.

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