Tension Headaches

Enjoying sweet dreams, headache free.

Tension Headaches

Enjoying sweet dreams, headache free.

“Susan has been my ‘go-to’ practitioner for many years. I have a history of headaches, TMJ and neck pain and she has provided the least invasive treatments with the greatest benefits.”
Randee G.


Tension-type headaches are the most common type of headache.


  • Pain from tension is musculoskeletal in origin
  • Neck posture changes may be a cause or result
  • Weakness in the scapular muscles may contribute to tension
  • Clenching of the teeth
  • TMJ (jaw) dysfunction
  • Sinus congestion, sinusitis
  • Eye strain
  • Emotional stress may increase tension headaches.
  • The origin of the pain to address the problem as it may be referred from another area, including:
    • Pain around the eyes and eyebrows may be due to tension in the suboccipital region at the base of the skull
    • Pain in the area of the temples may be due to muscles around the jaw

Tension headaches can also be present at the same time as another type of headache which will worsen the symptoms and can make it more difficult to differentiate and address effectively.

*Nausea, dizziness, fogginess is not specific to a tension-type headache and should be further assessed.


  • Ache or pressure in the
    • back of the head, base of the skull
    • forehead and
    • around the eyes
  • Tight band or vise-like pressure in the area of the skull
  • Fluctuates in intensity from mild to intense
  • Generally present on both sides of the head
  • Possible loss of concentration


  • Calming the environment around you can help your release some tension.
  • Stress reduction activities such as yoga, movement, meditation
  • Moist heat for 15-20 minutes can temporarily reduce the nerve impulses to the muscles and will relax the tension. (Again, it is important to put heat on the source of the problem for the best effect.)
  • Medications can reduce the intensity of the pain.
  • Many times, the point of origin of the pain may not be where the symptoms are felt most.


Tension builds and your body will adapt to manage the tension and pain the best it can.  This results in compensations of other parts of the body, especially, but not limited to, the neck and shoulders. The areas that compensate for your original problem of tension headache may cause additional problems as they are working much harder to help the headaches.


I take a whole-body approach to rebalance the forces that result in tension headaches. I have found that it is often due to tension and changes in postural positions. Identifying the areas which contribute to tension headaches is key to reducing them. 

Teaching you how to avoid future problems is very specific to your needs and will be addressed accordingly.  This holistic approach is designed for you to minimize your time spent in the physical therapy office and maximize your quality of life as quickly as possible.

Through the use of an integrated approach of manual techniques, postural modifications and specific exercises, headaches are able to resolve.

What Our Patients Have To Say


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A:  Firstly, I don’t believe in doing what didn’t work before. Many physical therapy practices approach a problem by going to the painful region. Oftentimes, this is a very temporary fix. By taking a holistic, hands-on approach, I understand that your pain may be coming from another part of the body, or even have multiple sources, including posture. By individualizing your treatment, I concentrate on healing and re-balancing the body, to manage your pain and lessen the chance of it returning. Then, I teach you how to manage your posture and movement.

A: Treatments for headaches or other pain from a recent problem will generally benefit from 2 treatment sessions for the first 2 weeks, then 1 session per week. Older conditions will benefit from 2 treatment sessions for the first week and then 1 session per week. Wellness sessions to rebalance and optimize the body for healthy aging range from a single session every month to once every six months and will be recommended on an individual basis.

A: An initial evaluation will take 1 hour. (Scar adhesion or sinus treatments only require 45 minutes.) Most follow-up treatments will be done in 30 minute sessions; multiple body areas may require 45 minutes

A: Any heavy exercise or recreational program should be done prior to the physical therapy or wellness session and then not for 24 hours after, in order for the body to adjust itself to the changes in muscle balance.

A: I will teach you techniques to perform on yourself if there is a flare-up and instruct you on proper body mechanics and ergonomics.

A: It is a facial aesthetics program of wrinkle reduction and facial rejuvenation using hands-on physical therapy and osteopathic techniques which may reduce the signs of aging in the face and neck. A FREE HEALTHY AGING CONSULTATION is available. See Refacée®

A: Wellness programs for healthy aging are not covered by most insurances, but may be reimbursable through a Healthcare Savings Account (HSA). A written bill and receipt will be provided upon your request. Although I do not participate in or bill insurance directly, I will provide a bill for you to submit to your insurance for reimbursement, upon request. As there are many types of insurance plans with each provider, it is your responsibility to understand the terms of your insurance. *Those with Medicare Part B insurance from CMS will only be allowed to be part of the Healthy Aging program, NOT for physical therapy treatment. Please see Payment Terms and Policies.

A: Appointments may be made in the following ways: Please call 410-665-3223 Email: Dr.Susan@baltimoreholisticpt.com


In order to accommodate the needs of my many current patients, Baltimore Holistic Physical Therapy will no longer accept new patients until further notice.