Treating Headaches with Massage Therapy


Depending on the type of headache, massage can be used to effectively decrease or eliminate pain and often to eliminate or decrease frequency and or duration of the headache.  For many people, headaches are daily facts of life, for others they might be connected to seasonal allergies.  For all, headaches are a part of life we would love to not have.  At Oregon Massage and Wellness Clinic we listen to your symptoms and work with specific techniques to help decrease or eliminate headache pain you might have.

A headache is defined as “a diffuse pain in different portions of the head and not confined to any nerve distribution area. May be acute or chronic”. Though many of us may not think of headaches in those specific terms, we all at one time or another have become familiar with the pain caused by one or more types of headaches.

Headaches can focus on one side or all of the head. The character of the pain may be intense, throbbing, constant pressure or a dull ache. For many the pain, no matter how it presents, is unbearable.

Tension headaches are quite common in today’s hectic lifestyles filled with home, work, bills, screen time and more. Tension headaches are usually accompanied by muscle spasms, tenderness in the neck muscles, the jawline and the scalp.  Massage can help decrease the pain during a tension headache by relaxing the muscles involved. Relieving the spasms usually removes or significantly decreases the pain. If you suffer from tension headaches, regular massage can help keep the muscles affected in a relaxed state and decrease your occurrence rate.

Sinus headaches are the result of inflammation of the sinuses. This can be caused by a virus or allergies or another health condition.  Some people find they have seasonal allergy headaches when the pollen count is high.  Wood smoke, cigarette smoke or perfumes may also be triggers for these headaches.  Massage techniques designed to drain the sinuses and relieve pressure in the sinus cavities are effective at relieving sinus headaches.  Sinus massage done at the start of sinus symptoms may help to prevent a full fledged sinus headache from developing.

Migraine headaches are becoming more common and often the causes are unknown.  Various research suggests a functional distribution of cranial circulation may be involved. Migraine headaches are accompanied by pain, vision changes, light sensitivity and possibly “flashes”.  Migraine pain may be severe or mild and last hours or even days.  Nausea and vomiting may accompany migraine headaches.  The focus of massage in working with migraine headache sufferers is not to cure migraines but rather to helping the tissue involved relax after a migraine. Migraine headaches do not usually dissipate after a massage but massage can be helpful in decreasing the duration of the headache. Continued massage treatment shows a decrease in frequency and intensity of migraine headaches.

At Oregon Massage and Wellness Clinic we see people with headaches often.  We understand the pain and the results massage has to offer those who suffer from headaches, no matter the type.  We know that no matter the type of headache, headaches do not need to be a common part of our daily life.  Call today to see how massage may be able to help you decrease the headache pain that is interfering with your ability to live a pain free life.

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