Back to Back Issues Page
HeadWay, Issue #055 -- Why you need a Physiotherapist
February 21, 2008

*Please note: URLs may wrap onto the next line. To visit the website, cut and paste the entire URL into your address bar on your browser*

In this month's issue:

Why you need a Physiotherapist

Headache and Migraine News Blog reloaded!

Say what?!  Electrotherapy

Why you need a Physiotherapist

For many people, physiotherapy brings up images of accident victims and painful exercises.  There's no doubt that physiotherapy is important for these "extreme" cases where someone has lost the use of a limb or can no longer use certain muscles.

But physiotherapy is actually much more than that, and is a much broader field of expertise than most people realize.  That's what I started to realize when I went to a "pain clinic" that had physiotherapy as one of its major areas of treatment.

So why might you need a physiotherapist?  Well, if you're dealing with pain, there might be good reason to give one a try.  There are two major reasons:
  • First and most obvious, your pain may be triggered by something a physiotherapist can help you with.
  • Less obvious but also important - your pain may be causing a mechanical problem in your body that a physiotherapist could help you with.
It's really a vicious circle.  You have a lot of headaches or pain in other parts of your body.  That causes muscles to tense up, and can even do damage to tissues in your body.  You might start to change the way you move and stand or sit to avoid pain, and that might also cause problems.  Damaged parts of the body or imbalances then cause more pain.

Overall, physiotherapy aims to restore proper functioning to the body.  They want to get a big picture of how your body is working, and how it's not functioning properly.

This can mean a lot of things - posture training, massage, relaxation techniques, specific types of exercise, movement training, diet recommendations, and even electrotherapy and hydrotherapy.  Different physiotherapists will specialize in various areas of treatment.

During my time at the pain clinic I was involved in two of the above treatments - electrotherapy and movement training.  The physiotherapist who specialized in movement was especially helpful.  It's amazing what bad habits you can get into, and how that can keep your whole body off balance.  Small habits over the years can turn into big problems throughout your body.

Why don't more people go to physiotherapists?  I think a big reason is because these types of problems come on gradually.  I had not been in a major accident, but I had developed bad habits, and likely pain and my body's response to it had caused damage over the years.  These are things people hardly notice, until something pushes their body over the edge and it flares up into a headache or migraine attack.

Another reason people probably avoid it is because they visualize hours of hard work - maybe even painful exercise.  This is not always the case with physiotherapy - the sessions may even be relaxing, and big changes can often be made in less time than you think.

Check around and find a good physiotherapist in your area.  It's worth the consultation.  You might be able to reverse many years of pain that you thought was there to stay.

Read about this person diagnosed with Migraine Variant Vertigo who found help through physiotherapy
A quick overview of physiotherapy, and here's another helpful summary [link no longer available].

Headache and Migraine News Blog has moved

Since 2004 the Headache and Migraine News Blog has been delivering tips, discoveries, news and resources that are relevant to you.  But the blog is going through something of a rebirth, and it has moved along with its news feed.  It now lives in its own domain -  The new feed (if you like to read in a news reader) is

Little by little the old entries are being imported into the new blog (almost done!).  All going well, this new blog will have more features than the old - information will be easier to find, entries will be easier to read, and it will be easier to get involved.

But there's a problem.  Lots of people have subscribed to the old feed, bookmarked the old page, and have links to the old location.  We need to get the word out about the move!

If you've found the information at the Headache and Migraine News Blog helpful, you can help by spreading the word.  If you have a blog, why not include it in your blogroll?  You can link to the site, or even include live headlines.  If you appreciate a certain post, share it using, facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, or one of the other excellent social sites.  For more linking info, visit this page.

Thanks to those who are already linking to the new site, such as RainGem and Mary's Oasis!  And special thanks to the New York Times for including the Headache and Migraine News Blog in the blog roll of their migraine blog.

In the past year alone, we've learnt about a new surgery for chronic daily headache, a study on nerve stimulation for cluster headaches and a new study linking Irritable Bowel Syndrome and migraine.  We've discussed the controversy over using Actiq for migraine, discovered a Mexican hero who had migraine, were shocked over the story of how Michael Moylan got his headache, found a cheap way to do hot/cold therapy, found out if we needed an EEG, investigated hair spray and headache, and learned some tips about travelling and drugs.  And there are many more tips to come!

Say what?!  Electrotherapy

Electrotherapy uses electrical impulses to stimulate the nervous system. It's used to reduce both acute and chronic pain. How exactly it works remains controversial, but it may block pain signals and release endomorphins, helping with pain issues. Electrotherapy has been used for everything from headaches to bed sores to fibromyalgia.

Thanks for reading! Remember, if you have feedback or ideas for future issues, visit the HeadWay MailRoom. Your password is nomoache.
Back to Back Issues Page