How to Treat your Headache!
In Motion with Morrison Blog
Written by Aubrey Morrison
MS Sports Medicine, CSCS, Licensed Massage Therapist #16763
Headaches are a very common reason that clients book massage appointments, and millions of people suffer from reoccurring headaches for various reasons. Although there are different kinds of headaches caused by different things, massage can and will give relief! We know that not every headache is the same, so Coastal Massage and Wellness have decided to offer a service to treat your specific type of headache.
The two basic types are tension headaches and vascular headaches (migraines). Tension headaches are more common and are caused by trigger points, muscle tension, muscular imbalances, or skeletal misalignment. Treatment involves deep tissue and myofascial techniques that target where those knots and tensions are, but will also address surrounding areas for a thorough muscular and fascial release. Finding what and where the problem is will determine the treatment, such as if there has been a previous injury or what activities the client does on a daily basis that might contribute to a muscular imbalance. Part of the massage will be to pinpoint what the headaches are stemming from. Decreasing tension and spasming, and using trigger point therapy, will interrupt the pain pattern/cycle and give relief!
Vascular headaches include several types of migraines, and although there are multiple causes and triggers for these types of headaches, massage can help immensely. Migraines can be very debilitating, and can come on suddenly or can build-up over time. In short, these types of headaches involve blood vessel restriction or swelling that irritates nerves. Treatment depends on where the client may be in their “migraine cycle” – the massage may be preventative or to relieve pain during a full-blown migraine. The timing will determine the type of massage given. If the client suffers from regular migraines but are not currently having one, the massage can be focused on a well-rounded neck and shoulders deep tissue/trigger point treatment. The goal is to prevent too much tension from building to the point of restricted vessels and nerves. If the client comes in already having a migraine, it is most helpful to decrease blood flow to the head; therefore, that is not the time to use higher pressure for tension and trigger points. Rather, slower techniques directing away from the head would be more beneficial, releasing the fascial of the entire head and scalp and gently reducing tension of the head and neck muscles to reduce pressure on blood vessels and nerves.
Coastal Massage and Wellness now offer a treatment specially designed to relieve or prevent whatever type of headache you suffer from. If it is a tension headache, we will customize it to target the core problem (or if you don’t know, we will do some assessment!). Maybe you have a history of TMJ, a previous whiplash injury, a job that requires being at a desk, are under a high amount of stress, or any other reason you have excess tension causing headaches. If you suffer from migraines, we will determine where you are in the “migraine cycle” and treat specifically from there.
Our headache treatment is very slow and intentional, with several steps. First, we will use an essential oil blend to decrease stress, calm tense muscles, and promote relaxation. The massage portion will be specific to each client and will depend on the type of headache and where the problem originates. Finally, cold stones will be used to reduce blood flow if the headache is a migraine, and reduce inflammation if the headache is from tension. Cold stones are amazing for pounding migraines, and can give quick relief!
If you suffer from headaches and want to manage and prevent them, this is for you. If you are struggling through the week with a stubborn headache, call us and we will get you in as soon as we can. Don’t get used to living with headaches! Let us give you some relief.