Tension headaches are something we see regularly at both our massage clinics. At Rub Massage many clients present with the symptoms of tension headaches and most of these stem from tense muscles in the upper neck and basal areas of the skull.
What are the symptoms of tension headaches?
Tension headaches often begin in the back of the head and upper neck as a band-like tightness or pressure. Tension headaches also are described as a band of pressure encircling the head with the most intense pain over the eyebrows. The pain of tension headaches usually is mild (not disabling) and bilateral (affecting both sides of the head). Tension headaches are not associated with an aura (see below) and are seldom associated with nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound. Tension headaches usually occur sporadically (infrequently and without a pattern) but can occur frequently and even daily in some people. Most people are able to function despite their tension headaches.
These are the most common type of headache that people experience. This is often related to pain and tension in the neck region. A disorder of the neck joints or the muscles that connect to the base of your scull may refer pain into your head; this is because the nerves that are in your neck are also connected to your head and face.
Your neck may be causing your headache if:
- Your doctor has cleared you of any other factors that may be contributing to your headache
- Your neck pain radiates from the back to the front of your head
- Headache is worsened by neck movement or by holding your neck in the one position for example staring at the computer screen throughout the day with your chin poke forward
- Headache is eased by pressure at the base of your skull
- This type of headache may not always be relieved by medication
Main Causes of Tension Headaches
Trigger points (TrPs), or muscle knots, are possibly the world’s most common cause of aches and pains, and yet they are rarely diagnosed correctly. Having too many stubborn trigger points is called “myofascial pain syndrome” (MPS). Many people that work in a sitting position like office workers are prone to these from the constant strain placed on the muscles of the neck and skull.
Under the back of the skull must be the single most popular massage target in the human body. No other group of muscle gets such rave reviews. It has everything: deeply relaxing and satisfying sensations, and a dramatic therapeutic relevance to one of the most common of all human pains, the common tension headache. And no wonder: without these muscles, your head would fall off. They feel just as important as they are.
Regular massage therapy sessions are not only a great way to aid in relieving these types of headaches, it goes a long way to preventing them recurring. As a natural health professional, I am always an advocate for prevention! Seeing your massage therapist anywhere from weekly to monthly to have these and other areas massaged is a proven way to help prevent and alleviate tension headaches.
Our massage therapists at Rub Massage can advise you with a particular treatment plan for your body. Be it neck pain, back pain or any other ailment feel free to drop us a line at our email address.
See you on the Table!