Literally millions of people suffer from chronic headache pain.
Many factors often combine to produce a headache. The effects
of chronic headache pain may include a reduced quality of life,
which involves many aspects of our lives. Therapeutic massage
is one approach that has proven to reduce and prevent
headaches. There are several types of headaches.
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These headaches originate from tight, contracted
muscles and trigger points in the head, neck and
shoulders. Mental and physical stress, interrupted sleep
and poor posture may all contribute to tension headaches.
Severe throbbing pain, which may be one-sided and may extend into areas of the face
and back of the head. These headaches may be accompanied by nausea, visual
disturbances, fatigue and sensitivity to light and sound. The exact cause of migraines
is not known, but research believes that a chemical or nervous system imbalance
affecting the meninges plays a major role. Factors that may contribute to the onset
of a migraine include stress, lack of sleep, hormonal changes, food allergies,
depression and neck injury.
Cluster headaches are severe headaches that occur in a
series, then disappear for some time. Theses headaches
are like migraines and involve the dilation and
constriction of blood vessels.
Headaches due to neck injury
These headaches can be caused by sudden trauma such as whiplash or from repetitious activity
such as working at a computer for may hours. Muscle, tendon and ligament injury in the neck often
cause referred pain to the head which is experienced as a headache. Muscle tension and scar
tissue in the injured areas can limit movement, restrict blood flow and cause trigger points.
Other types of headaches
Rebound headaches are caused by increased and accumulated toxins from the overuse of
prescription or over-the-counter pain medications and they are very common. Finding the root
cause is very important so that medications can be eliminated.
Other kinds of headaches include those caused by sinusitis, allergies, TMJD, high blood pressure,
meningitis, tumors and strokes. It is important to receive medical attention for all these types of
How can massage help?
Massage releases tight, contracted muscles, trigger points, and fascia in the neck, head and
shoulders. Relaxed muscles and fascia reduce pressure on nerves and blood vessels and improve
circulation. This flushes away irritating waste products and brings much needed nutrients and
oxygen to stressed tissues. The realignment of scar tissue in the muscles, tendons and ligaments of
the neck improves flexibility and promotes healing. Massage therapy may be your most powerful
component in dealing with chronic headache pain.