Posted by LNSA on August 3, 2017
Physical Therapy for Headaches & Migraines

Physical Therapy at Lancaster NeuroScience & Spine Associates (LNSA) offers the highest standard of care backed by more than six decades of treating head-, neck- and back-related conditions. The LNSA Physical Therapy team is experienced in providing pain relief, promoting healing, restoring motion and improving strength for each and every patient.

With the addition of Jeffrey Bole to their Physical Therapy Team as the Director of Rehabilitation Services, LNSA now offers treatment for cervicogenic headaches and migraines. Along with the specialized treatment for headaches and migraines Jeff brings 20 years of experience and expertise in treatment of lumbar and cervical spine-related conditions.

Why is Physical Therapy Underutilized for Headache & Migraine Treatment?

Physical Therapy treatment for headaches and migraines is often an underutilized or unknown form of treatment for a variety of reasons including:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • The public’s perception of physical therapists’ focus on musculoskeletal systems not strongly associated with migraines
  • Traditional reliance on pain medication as a first defense

Many headache and migraine sufferers often experience concurrent neck pain, tension, stiffness, and/or discomfort with onset of symptoms. Often these symptoms are associated with the headache, but Physical Therapy is not a treatment that comes to mind to get to the core cause of the issue. Muscles in the cervical region can become tense and tight from things like over use, static postural loading (like sitting at a computer), as well as trauma events. These tense and tight muscles can cause referred pain from the cervical region to head and facial regions, possibly triggering “migraines”.

So while it may seem that the neck and back pain is being caused by the headache, it is actually the headache or migraine being caused by the neck or back pain.

Physical Therapy Treatment for Headaches and Migraines

Treatment for headaches and migraines is focused on a variety of things including:

  • Specific postural, ADL and work modifications
  • Gentle joint mobilizations
  • Soft tissue mobilization/myofascial release
  • Light strengthening and conditioning to improve postural control

The role of the physical therapist is to identify a mechanical trigger of the headache symptoms, restore mobility to the joints, correct muscle imbalances and manage their symptoms. The challenge lies in determining the type of headache, determining the root cause and developing an appropriate treatment plan to empower headache sufferers to self-manage their symptoms.

I believe in empowering the patient to self-manage their symptoms and condition. Working in a small facility allows me to provide personalized one-on-one care. My goal for patients is to abolish acute and chronic pain symptoms, increase motion and strength to improve overall function, and assist with goal achievement. I have an open door policy and welcome any input, recommendations or questions.

Jeffrey Bole, MSPT


If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists or physicians you can fill out our consultation request form and we’ll get it touch with you to discuss your options.

Category: Jeffrey Bole, Physical Therapy