– What is a headache?
– What helps get rid of headaches fast?
– Can Dry Needling help my headache?
What is a headache?
A headache is any pain in the head area. They can take on many forms and the symptoms can vary greatly. They may feel like a vise on the head, sharp, only on one side or both, throbbing, and even a dull ache. However you feel them, they all are a pain in the… head!
Some particularly important types of headaches are a migraine, tension-type, and cluster (1).
Migraines can affect up to 15% of the world’s population and cause more disability than epilepsy with an estimated 100 million workdays or schooldays missed annually (1).
Tension-Type are you “ordinary” headaches. These can be stress related. They can also be caused by structural musculoskeletal abnormalities or pathologies.
Cluster headaches are the most recognizable because they have very particular symptoms. These include bouts or clusters of bouts lasting 6-12 weeks, once a year, only one side of the head, intense pain around the eye commonly at night (1).
What helps get rid of headaches fast?
Depending on the type of headache, there can be different remedies. Talk to your doctor about some medication options that they recommend for you. If you are looking for some medicine-free options, here you go!
Ice can be a great tool to decrease pain. Cold therapy is known to decrease tissue blood flow by causing vasoconstriction, reduces tissue metabolism, oxygen utilization, inflammation, and muscle spasm. It helps with local pain and with central pain responses from the brain and spinal cord where it slows down the speed of nerve pain signals (2).
Here are a few products that I have recommended in the clinic for my patients.
Can Dry Needling help my headache?
Trigger Point Dry Needling has been around for over 40 years. In the past 10-15 years it has been used more by Physical Therapists. I have been using dry needling for over 5 years with great success at managing many conditions that are impacted by trigger points and muscle issues.
Headache pain can come on as a consequence of trigger points in the shoulders, neck, or facial muscles (3). The trapezius muscle can refer pain to the side of the head and around behind the ear.
Chemical processes related to muscle trigger points may also cause migraine-like symptoms such as light sensitivity, nausea, and dizziness (3).
My experiences over the past decade combined with the current evidence in the literature would say that Trigger Point Dry Needling can be a effective tool in helping headache sufferers manage pain from headaches.
Schedule a consult call or make an appointment to see if we can help with addressing your headaches.
Dr. Talin Pepper is a licensed physical therapist in the state of Texas (license #1200193). He is also a licensed massage therapist in the state of Texas (license #MT040254).
Massage Therapy is where he started in 2004 while earning his Bachelor’s Degree from Lubbock Christian University. He started practicing physical therapy in 2010, treating patients in orthopedics. He has specialty certification in manual therapy. In 2019, he was awarded his Doctorate of Science in Physical Therapy with an emphasis in clinical research. He published his research in the JOSPT (article) discussing effects of foam rolling in the iliotibial band. Most recently, he opened his own private practice clinic in Burleson, Texas.
Dr. Talin Pepper PT, DPT, ScD, COMT, LMT
If you would like to schedule a call with Talin please use the link –> HERE
1. Steiner TJ, Fontebasso M. Headache. BMJ. 2002;325(7369):881-886.
2. Nadler SF, Weingand K, Kruse RJ. The physiologic basis and clinical applications of cryotherapy and thermotherapy for the pain practitioner. Pain Physician. 2004 Jul;7(3):395-9. PMID: 16858479.
3. Gerwin RD. Myofascial Trigger Point Pain Syndromes. Semin Neurol. 2016 Oct;36(5):469-473. doi: 10.1055/s-0036-1586262. Epub 2016 Sep 23. PMID: 27704503.