Headaches are one of the most common health complaints that national and private healthcare providers hear during their practice. Millions of people are affected by them, sometimes even on a daily basis. Headache treatment often involves headache massage therapy and can be further controlled by lifestyle changes.
A Headache Massage is one of the very pleasant and effective treatments for tension headaches. It releases the tension and relaxes body and mind. Therapeutic massage for a headache treatment also works wonders as a prevention, helping you to carry on with your normal life without any strain.
Different forms of headaches
There are many types and causes of headaches. Here are the most common:
Tension headaches: this type of a headache is caused by tension and knots in muscles, particularly in neck, shoulders and upper back region. The pain level experienced from this headache is varied, often depending on how chronic the tension is. People can describe this type of a headache as a “tight band around the head”. There can be many causes of tension headaches such as stress, postural problems, sleeping problems and dehydration.
Migraine: Migraines are a less common type of a headache but normally cause more discomfort. Sufferer usually finds that they cannot continue with their daily routine and withdraw to rest. Migraine pain tends to be one-sided but it can spread to face, neck and jaw. Other symptoms involve nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, fatigue. A migraine lasts at least few hours but in most cases, it prolongs even for several days. Lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance, unhealthy diet and certain medications are considered to be common contributing factors. Headache treatment involving massage is particularly effective for the above types.
Headaches induced by neck injury: A sudden trauma to the neck, such as whiplash or repetitive strain injuries can directly cause headaches. They can occur immediately after the incident or well afterward. An injury to muscle or ligaments in the neck causes an accumulation of tension, scar tissue and restricts a blood flow. Trigger points can also appear (painful spots which refer pain to other areas) which will result in restricted movement and headache.
Other, rarer, types of a headache include cluster headache (occur in a cluster, around the same time of a year), rebound headaches (caused by toxins from medications), sinus headaches (associated with sinusitis), hormone headache (related to hormonal changes in the body).
Massage as a headache treatment
A headache Massage is a very beneficial form of a headache treatment. Loosening up tension in neck, head and shoulders, stretching out tight and shortened muscles as well as eliminating trigger points is crucial in releasing a headache. By increasing a blood flow, a boost of oxygen and nutrients is also provided. Improved circulation will encourage removal of built-up toxins and waste up products which altogether will soothe the symptoms.
Regular massage is also very effective in preventing tension headaches and migraines. Maintaining healthy muscles and decreasing mental and physical stress helps to reduce the frequency and intensity of pain, proving it to be the sufficient way of headache treatment.
In case of specific neck or shoulder injury, such as muscle strains and whiplash, a headache massage will encourage an appropriate healing and break down of scar tissue, which often continues to be a cause of headaches even after the recovery from injury. It will also help to identify and improve any postural problems, such as rounded shoulders, head forward and prevent it from becoming worse.
Pain and Stress Relief
Regular massage plays a huge role in releasing tension and stress. It also relaxes your body and mind. This can be particularly beneficial when suffering from headaches. By letting go of the tension from your whole body, you are sending a message to your brain that “all is well”.
Fighting stress this way is non-invasive and in most cases helps to soothe or completely eliminate the headaches. This extremely relaxing sensation will help to restore your energy, slow down your breathing and calm you down. Suffering from a headache is very unpleasant. We believe that a headache treatment needs to be effective and enjoyable. Find out more about how massage can be a form of stress relief here.
Other support for Ongoing Care
Your massage therapist or our on-site physiotherapist will be able to advise you on further steps that can help to prevent and treat headaches. This could include yoga, tips to improve posture, supplements and balanced diet. An individual plan for massage can also be created to maximise benefits of this therapeutic treatment. (It is important to drink plenty of water after the massage to eliminate all the toxins released during the treatment. )
Remember: If your headache is not getting better or occurs suddenly, it is recommended to seek medical advice. It can be a symptom of more serious conditions and should not just be ignored.