Explore 3 physical therapy methods that are first-rate for migraines

Physical Therapy for Migraine

A migraine is a chronic, episodic primary headache. Migraine headaches can be debilitating. In most cases, the pain is one-sided, but it may affect both sides of the head in some cases.

In addition to pain, symptoms include nausea and sensitivity to light, sound, and sometimes even odors and touch. 

Physical therapy is an excellent way to address the root cause of your migraines so that you don’t suffer from them as often. Physical therapists are knowledgeable about treating many types of headaches, including migraines.

What causes migraines?

Migraine symptoms can be triggered by certain foods, drinks, stressful situations and more. 

The following factors can also trigger migraine attacks:

  • Genetics — Genetics may actually be a predisposing factor. There are many reasons people get migraines; in the case of genetics, it may be that you inherited a trait or traits that make you more likely to get migraines.
  • Sensory stimuli — Bright lights and sun glare can induce migraines, as can loud sounds. Strong smells including perfume, paint thinner, secondhand smoke and others can trigger migraines in some people.
  • Hormonal changes — Hormone levels change throughout a woman’s life. During the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels drop and rise. This may cause hormonal migraines.

3 physical therapy techniques for treating migraine headaches

What are your physical therapy options for treating migraines? Physical therapy can help treat migraines by relaxing and strengthening your neck, back, and shoulders, or easing muscle tension. It does so via a personalized treatment plan that may include a range of techniques.

 Typical physical therapy migraine treatment techniques include:


  1. Electrotherapeutic modalities — This is more commonly called electrical stimulation. It involves an electrical current being delivered through electrodes placed over painful areas of the body. It works by stimulating sensory nerves to block pain signals being sent to the brain.
  1. Manual therapy — Physical therapists who specialize in manual therapy may be able to help ease your migraine pain. This is because your pain could be the result of poor posture or muscle imbalance that’s causing stress on the neck, spine or head muscles. Physical therapists can use their hands to perform manual therapy techniques to ease tense muscles and realign your spine. 
  1. Therapeutic exercises — The goal of these exercises is to relax your tense neck muscles and increase the blood flow to the affected area to reduce migraine pain. 


Physical therapy can play a big role in treating migraines. There are multiple methods for treating a migraine. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to treatment, so it’s important that you find a licensed therapist to design a specific program just for you.

Turn to Franklin Rehab for physical therapy for your migraines

Franklin Rehabilitation has expert physical therapists skilled in treating migraines. We can provide a free screening to determine the root cause of your migraines. Our therapists can also design a customized physical therapy plan for you. Your plan can focus on meeting many goals, including reducing your pain and helping reduce migraine frequency.

Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment with our team if you suffer from regular migraines.