Do you suffer from Tension Headaches?

1605202067_1366077195If so, then you are among the 30-80% of the U.S. adult population who suffers from occasional tension headaches. Approximately3% suffer from chronic daily tension headaches. Women are twice as likely to suffer from tension-type headaches as men. Mostpeople with episodic tension headaches have them no more than once or twice a month, but the headaches can occur more frequently. Chronic tension headache suffers can have headaches for more than 60-90 days.

So what causes Tension Headaches?

There is no single cause for tension headaches. This type of headache is not an inherited trait that runs in families. Tension headaches are usually triggered by some type of environmental or internal stress. The most common sources oBusiness-Stress-Man-With-Text-Anxietyf stress include family, social relationships, friends, work, and school. In some cases, tension headaches are caused by tightened muscles in the back of the neck and scalp. This muscle tension may be caused by

  • Inadequate rest
  • Poor posture
  • Emotional stress, including depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Overexertion

 Unlike migraine headaches, there are no associated neurological symptoms (muscle weakness or blurred vision) with tension headaches. In addition, severe sensitivity to light or noise, stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting are not symptoms usually associated with tension headaches.

 How are tension headaches treated?

The goals of treatment for tension headaches are to prevent further attacks and relieve any current pain. Your physician may prescribe medications such a pain relievers, muscle relaxants, or antidepressants. Medications do not cure headaches and over time, pain-relievers and other medication may lose their effectiveness. Identifying the stressors or factors that may be triggering your headaches is very important in alleviating your pain.  Physical Therapy is another option that your physician may perscribe or recommend.

 How can Elite Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy help?

Elite’s physical therapists will conduct a through examination that includes a review of your health history. The therapist will ask you questions and will perform tests to determine the most likely cause of your headaches. Listed below are some questions our therapist may ask to help identify causes.

  • You will be asked :
    • To recall any pervious injuries to your neck, head and jaw
    • The location, nature, and behavior of your pain and other symptoms
    • To draw your areas of pain on a body diagram
    • Perform tests of muscle strength and sensation
    • Examine your posture with sitting, standing, and performing various activities
    • Measure the range of motion of your neck, shoulders, and other relevant parts of your body,
    • Use manual therapy to evaluate the mobility of the joints and muscles in your neck

 If it appears that you do have tension-type headaches, our physical therapists will work with you to design a plan of care to meet your goals. If the evaluation indicates that you may have a different type of headache—such as sinus, migraine, or cluster headache—the physical therapist will refer you to another health care professional for additional diagnostic tests and treatment.

 Elite Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy’s therapists will work with you to correct the problems that are causing your pain and will help you learn to prevent headaches through simple changes to your posture and lifestyle.

 Based on the identified problems your Plan of Care may include:neck-treatment

 Improve neck mobility: Our use specialized techniques called manual therapy and trigger point dry needling to increase movement and relieve pain and to stretch the muscles of the back of the neck.

 Improve your strength: We will teach you exercises to increase the strength of the muscles that help stabilize your upper back and neck to improve your posture and endurance and make it easier for you to sit or stand for longer periods of time without discomfort.

 Improve your posture: Elite’s therapists will teach you ways to improve your posture. Whether it is simply pushing your chest out or pulling your shoulders blades backwards and together, slight modifications to everyday living can make a vast improvement in posture.

 Modify your workstation or home office: Tips may include:

  • Using a headset instead of a regular phone
  • Adjusting your computer screen so that it is  no lower than the level of your eyes
  • Finding an appropriate desk chair
  • Adjusting the position of your computer mouse

See if Elite Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy can help you alleviate your headaches and provide you with the necessary tools to prevent them in the future.

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Shin Splints slowing you down?

Since the weather has turned from grey gloomy skies of winter to the sunny blue skies of spring and summer, our desire to be outside and be active increases. Not to mention we are all trying to get ready for bathing suit season. Most of us put on our running shoes and hit the streets to burn those extra calories off, but how many of you have been put on hold because of shin splints? Image

Shin splints are a common aliments among runners. This conditions is usually associated with an abrupt change in activity level. Like most of us during the winter months our activity level decreases and we become more sedentary and then the weather changes along with our activity level. BANG the perfect environment for shin splints to develop. 

Other common names for shin splints are soleus syndrome or tibial periostitis, but the proper medical terminology is medial tibial stress syndrome. As this name suggests, this condition involves the overload (stress) of the medial (inner border) part of the tibia (shin bone).

If the problem persists and does not resolve, it is recommended you seek an evaluation by a sports medicine professional to rule out other diagnoses such as a stress fracture, posterior tibial tendon disease, and exercise-induced exertional compartment syndrome.

The diagnosis is typically made by physical examination, with tenderness along the inside area of the leg. PlainX-rays usually do not show any changes. Advanced imaging, such as bone scan and MRI can sometimes be performed and help confirm the diagnosis, but is usually not necessary.

The mainstay of treatment is rest to allow the tibial bone to heal. Other treatments that may help include:

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• Physical Therapy treatment

• Orthotics (specifically those with arch support)

• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine

• Ice

To help avoid shin splints, we recommend runners to be vigilant in allowing adequate time to increase training demands, as well as run in a properly-fitted, well-cushioned running shoe. Cross training is also another important aspect when allowing down time for the shins to heal. Elite Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy provides its runners with custom made orthotics to correct identified biomechanics that may be predisposing them to shin splints. We can help you keep on running and not let your shins slow you down.