Understanding the Basics of Headache and Migraine Treatment

At Novera, our mission is to help you break free from the fear of your next headache or migraine and reduce dependence on medication. This may seem impossible if headaches and migraines have been plaguing you for years, but our clinic is here to offer you hope, starting with uncovering the fundamentals of why headaches and migraines occur and how they can be treated effectively.

The Root Causes of Headaches and Migraines

Headaches and migraines are often misunderstood, and it’s crucial to understand their root causes. Many people think that these conditions are purely neurological or are primarily caused by external triggers. However, a significant number of headaches and migraines originate from physical issues in the neck, jaw, and shoulders. This is where the expertise of physical therapists comes into play.

Physical therapists are uniquely qualified to address headaches and migraines stemming from musculoskeletal issues. Unlike neurologists who focus on treating symptoms, physical therapists look at how the neck, jaw, and shoulders move and function. Dysfunction in these areas can lead to pain that manifests in the head and face. By restoring proper movement and function, physical therapists can often reduce or eliminate headache and migraine symptoms.

Referred Pain and Its Implications

One of the key concepts in understanding headache and migraine pain is referred pain. This occurs when pain in one part of the body is perceived in another. For instance, issues in the neck can cause pain that feels like it’s originating in the head or face. This is because the nerves from the neck and head converge in the brainstem before sending pain signals to the brain.

Common Physical Issues Leading to Headaches

  • Upper Neck Dysfunction: The upper part of the neck, particularly the C1 and C2 vertebrae, is a common source of referred pain. Dysfunction in these joints can lead to pain in the head and face.
  • Shoulder and Jaw Issues: The shoulders and jaw are interconnected with the neck. Problems in these areas can exacerbate neck issues and contribute to headaches.
  • Postural Problems: Poor posture, especially from prolonged sitting, can strain the neck and lead to headaches.

Treating the Source, Not Just the Symptoms

Traditional headache treatments often focus on symptom management using medications. While this can provide temporary relief, it does not address the underlying causes of pain. At Novera, our physical therapists use techniques to treat the source of the problem by:

  1. Restoring Movement: Ensuring that the neck, jaw, and shoulders move correctly can alleviate pain.
  2. Reducing Inflammation: Addressing inflammation in the neck and surrounding areas can reduce referred pain.
  3. Strengthening Muscles: Strengthening the muscles that support the neck and shoulders can prevent future headaches.

The Comprehensive Approach at Novera Headache Center

At Novera: Headache Center, we specialize in treating headaches and migraines by addressing their root causes. Our approach includes a thorough assessment of your neck, jaw, and shoulders to identify dysfunctions. We then create a personalized treatment plan that includes exercises, manual therapy, and education on maintaining proper posture and movement.


Understanding the basics of headache and migraine treatment is the first step toward finding lasting relief. By addressing the underlying causes of pain through physical therapy, you can reduce your dependence on medication and improve your quality of life. If you are struggling with headaches or migraines, consider reaching out to us at Novera: Headache Center.

For more information and resources, follow us on our social media channels and tune into our podcast – The Headache Doctor. Remember, there is hope and help available to break free from the cycle of headaches and migraines.

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