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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Tension Headaches

Patients suffering from tension headaches can benefit from treatment with a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist (also known as a Physiatrist). Physiatrists are nerve, muscle, and bone doctors that specialize in the diagnosis and non-surgical treament of pain.

In order to understand how a Physiatrist can help with tension headache pain, it’s important to know that muscle tension is a major cause of tension headaches. Factors such as stress, depression, fatigue, or poor posture can lead to muscle tension.

More specifically, myofascial trigger points—hypersensitive areas in the muscles—have been found to be a reason that people experience tension headaches. Trigger Points in the back, neck, and shoulders can cause headache pain. In some cases, the muscles themselves are not painful, but trigger points are still culpable for headaches. This is known as referred pain and is a major (and insidious) effect of myofascial trigger points.