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Headaches in Children

Vertebral column.
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I have been successfully treating headache and migraines in adults for many years, yet I never get referrals for children.  I know that kids have headaches too, as my own daughter has suffered on and off with headaches since the 3rd grade.  Children may suffer greatly from headaches due to a variety of reasons.   Trauma such as blows to the head, neck s or tail bone from car accidents or sports injuries may be one source.  Posture may play a role in children who spend many hours in a slouched position either reading or on the computer.  Muscle spasms within the jaw due to lengthy dental procedures may cause jaw pain, TMJ and perhaps headache.  Allergies, bruxism (teeth grinding), food sensitivities, stress, eye strain, or lack of hydration may also be a component.

Personally I have looked in many different places to solve the headache puzzle for my own daughter.  I had her eyes checked, she was near sighted.  I visited my friend Robin Mize of Advanced Biofeedback Center for a SCIO appointment which alerted us to a peanut allergy.  She has had CranioSacral Therapy as well as joint mobilization for the cervical spine.  Each of these modalities have helped in their own way.

My Physical Therapy treatment includes a history of the current symptoms followed by an evaluation of the joints and muscles of the neck.  I may evaluate the bones of the cranium via CranioSacral Therapy as well as the coccyx via direct mobilization to the coccyx itself and its surrounding ligaments.  Joint mobilization is often effective and used in combination with soft tissue mobilization.  Muscle energy technique may be used to mobilize the joints of the neck via a minute neck muscle contraction.  CranioSacral Therapy is a very gentle way to release fascial restrictions within the cranium that often contribute to headache pain.

I am sure that other modalities such as massage, chiropractic, acupuncture and a naturopathic physician may also be of benefit for childhood headaches.

Mary Boyd, MS, PT is the owner of Mountain View Physical Therapy and a member of the Sandpoint Wellness Council.  She can be reached at 290-5575 with questions or on the web at: www.MtnViewPT.com .

Headaches in Children
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