A 35 year old Gilbert woman comes into the office with daily headaches. Her headaches had been getting worse over the last 18 months, since she started her new job (at a local technology company). She would spend 40 to 50 hours a week at a computer or sitting in meetings. She was having 4 to 6 headaches a week. She described them as moderate to severe. When she was lucky, she would have a mild headache. And she wasn't very lucky lately.
Her headaches would start as a dull ache at the base of her head. As the day progressed, she developed a "head band like" sensation across her head. She described muscle spasms and tightness in her neck and shoulders. At its worst, she had to leave work early because of her headaches. She was avoiding social activities after work and over the weekend because of her headaches.
After the exam indication her headaches were caused by her neck joints and muscle spasms, we started treatment. Electric therapy was used to decrease the muscle spasms. Ultrasound was used on the trigger points in her trapezius. Stretches, exercises, and ice therapy was performed in the office and at home. The patient was adjusted to address the cervical joint dysfunction.
Massage therapy and Graston Technique were utilized in the second week for the muscle spasms, muscle adhesions, and scar tissue.
In the third week of headache treatment, she had 4 mild headaches. This was huge for her. She did not have a severe headache all week, and was thrilled to have four mild headaches.
The next week she had a combination of 3 mild and moderate headaches. The intensity and frequency of her headaches was decreasing.
We worked on her posture at the computer. She started focusing on sitting up straight and adjusted the height of her computer monitor. She began stretching throughout the day.
Within 6 weeks of treatment, she started having 1 or 2 mild headaches at the end of the week. She was starting to go out with her friends after work. She felt amazingly better during the day. She didn't realize how much the headaches were affecting her life.
She went on to meet all her therapeutic goals. Her cervical range of motion returned to normal. The muscle spasms disappeared and her headaches became very infrequent. She currently describes one or two mild headaches a month. Usually when she is working long hours at the computer and not keeping up on her stretching.
She is very happy with her treatment and results.