HeadachesDr. Howard Liss treats disorders that cause pain and disability by providing consultative services and soft tissue and joint injections when needed. When medically appropriate, he makes specific referrals for diagnostic testing (lab work, imaging, electrodiagnosis), physical and occupational therapy, interventional procedures (epidurals and facet joint injections), and surgery.
For headache-sufferers, over the counter pain medications are generally the first line of defense, while the use of aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen continue to increase. While these and other prescription drugs offer relief from headache pain, it is temporary. Headaches often increase in intensity and frequency with prolonged use.
Surprising to some, the majority of headaches are not an indication of a problem with the head, skull or brain. They are mostly attributed to problems in the middle and upper neck, or cervical region, including ligaments, joints and nerves.
Consider the following common types of headaches:
- Tension headaches – As the most common type of headache, tension headaches are likely the result of muscle spasms in the neck, jaw and face.
- Migraine headaches – Usually connected to neurological symptoms such as numbness and tingling, sensitivity to light and sound or auditory and visual problems. Migraine headaches are associated with throbbing pain that is more severe on one side of the head.
- Cluster headaches – As headaches that occur in cycles, cluster headaches consist of periodic pain that comes and goes.
- Sinus headaches – Mostly due to allergies or infection, sinus headaches are a result of inflammation of the sinuses.
Pain Management and Therapy for Headaches
When it comes to managing headache pain, physiatrists are in a unique position to identify and develop orthopedic and sports therapy treatment that not only alleviates pain but takes into account multiple systems, not one area or symptom. With extensive training and education covering a multitude of disciplines, physiatrists understand a wide variety of conditions and how they relate to the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments muscles and tendons.
For patients with headaches, physiatrists may suggest a combination of therapies. Some may include physical therapy, acupuncture and massage. Epidural steroid injections may be administered to reduce pain and inflammation so that patients can better tolerate therapy.
Specifically, physical therapy for headaches is designed to ease muscular stress and tension on soft tissues and joints in the cervical spine. In addition, therapeutic exercises, hot and cold therapies, traction, ultrasound therapy and low level laser therapy may be applied. Physiatrists understand that relieving stress, tension and anxiety related to headaches not only reduce pain, but also aids in the release of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is connected to pain sensory and mood.
Are you suffering from constant pain from headaches?
At the Howard Liss, M.D. Rehabilitation Institute in Tenafly, patients can rely on Dr. Liss to put together the right treatment, therapy and rehabilitation plan to ensure the most optimal outcome. Dr. Liss works closely with other specialists required to rehabilitate patients suffering from chronic pain or serious injuries, and Dr. Liss will refer patients as needed to ensure appropriate treatment. With extensive education and exposure to a variety of conditions that affect the cervical and lumbar spine, bones, nerves, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, brain, and spinal cord, Dr. Liss is uniquely positioned to help patients manage their pain and maximize their functioning.
Contact us today.