Can a massage cure your headache?

 In Westpac Wellness Centres
By Chris Poier
Are you constantly suffering from headaches? Tension headaches are the most common type of headache affecting people’s day-to-day life. These headaches can cause pain that radiates around the Temples, eyes, or at the back of the skull. The fact of the matter is, most tension headaches begin through significant muscle tension or muscle Knots in the neck and shoulders. 

When you say, “I have a muscle knot” You are actually referring to myofascial trigger points. In fact the dominant theory behind Trigger points refers to a patch of tightly contracted muscle, which affects a small part of the muscle tissue. That small part of “knotted” muscle cuts off its own blood supply, which causes irritation, and if not addressed will eventually cause a myofascial trigger point.

Why is massage and NOT medication the answer? It is alarming how many people have no idea why they are getting constant and reoccurring headaches. Medications such as Nurofen and Panadol are great at masking symptoms by decreasing inflammation and dulling pain receptors. However, they will not relieve muscle tension and therefore headaches become a daily occurrence because the actual problem is not being addressed.

Relieving muscle tension through Massage Therapy can be beneficial, as it will increase blood flow and oxygen to tight muscles, allowing them to relax in order to remain strong and flexible.  A study by the American journal of Public health shows that pain associated with chronic tension headaches can be alleviated through specific massage treatments directed at the muscles of the neck and shoulders.

Lets be honest, we are all guilty of hunching over our computers and placing too much strain on the muscles of our neck and shoulders. Without even knowing your daily routines such as driving and looking down at your mobile phone can begin to irritate and place excessive amounts of tension on your body. After all, your muscles contribute to every movement your body makes, and this is why they need to be looked after.

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