MASSAGE BLOGKinetic RP
by Jenny MacKenzie
Over the last few months, I have been seeing an ever-increasing number of patients who are complaining of tension headaches. Tension headache, previously known as muscle contraction headache, it’s the most common type of headache. Its name indicates the role of stress, mental or emotional conflict in triggering the pain and contracting muscles in the neck, face, scalp, and jaw.
Tension-type headaches may also be caused by jaw clenching, intense work, missed meals, depression, anxiety, or too little sleep. Sleep apnoea may also cause tension-type headaches, especially in the morning. The pain is usually mild to moderate and feels as if constant pressure is being applied to the front of the face or to the head or neck.
Research has shown that in respect to tension headaches massage can:
– Reduce depression and/or anxiety
– Decrease perceived pain
– Decrease tension
– Reduce frequency of headache
– Reduce intensity
– Reduce duration
– Decrease medication usage
– Increase range of motion
Massage treatments when performed on a regular basis, help the body to maintain a relaxed muscles state, reducing tightness and spasms. By focusing on the neck, shoulders, and head massage and trigger pointing can decrease the pain and discomfort brought on by migraine or tension headaches, ultimately reducing the frequency and intensity of tension headaches. Many of my patients report that they have noticed a dramatic decrease in their headache frequency with regular massage treatments. Additionally, by increasing water intake, gentle stretching and applying heat to the neck and affected area, can also help with relieving the symptoms of a tension headache when they occur.