Tension headaches interfere with your ability to handle everyday tasks at home or work. There are many factors that contribute to tension headaches, making it difficult to find the best solution that provides relief from pain.

Treating Tension Headaches With Massage Therapy

Massage therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of physical issues such as low-back pain, plantar fasciitis, and neck pain. But can massage therapy treat tension headaches?

Understanding the benefits of massage therapy helps you use this treatment modality to achieve lasting relief from tension headaches and other pain issues.

Headache Factors

Tension headaches are one of the most common form of head pain reported by patients. It’s often referred to as a muscle contraction headache, and symptoms typically arise from excessive contraction of the muscles of the head, neck, face, and jaw.

Stress often triggers these actions, further contributing to the onset and duration of tension headaches. Other related factors include emotional issues like depression and anxiety, poor sleep, and low blood sugar.

Tension headaches may vary in their severity, and patients report feelings of pressure on the front of the head and face. They cause you to be sensitive to sounds or bright lights, and its duration will vary.

Massage Therapy

Because tension headaches can result from muscle tension and postural alignment issues, massage therapy is an effective treatment method to correct these and other causes.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunctions and muscle imbalances can be corrected through a properly applied massage therapy plan. Faulty movement patterns in the jaw and neck can be addressed so that patients get lasting relief from tension headaches.

Trigger points can also be treated through massage therapy. This eliminates chronic neuromuscular stimulation that often leads to headaches and other pain issues. These commonly occur in the suboccipital muscles at the base of the cranium.

A massage therapy treatment plan eliminates pain sensations, decreases muscle tension, improves joint range of motion, and can help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.

Developing A Massage Therapy Plan For Tension Headaches

The first step to developing a treatment plan for your tension headaches is to schedule a consultation with your physiotherapist.

A comprehensive physical assessment can identify any muscle and postural imbalances that are contributing to your symptoms.

Massage therapy restores muscle balances by reducing the level of muscle tone in overactive or chronically tight muscles in the back, neck, shoulders, and head.

In addition, postural issues of the lower extremities and pelvis can also contribute to tension headaches.

So it’s important to evaluate the entire body in order to create the treatment program that will provide lasting relief.


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