Tag / Headaches

Trigger Points To Alleviate Headaches

Trigger Point HeadachesCan Massage Therapy help with my headaches? Yes! Although Massage Therapy may not spring to mind as a typical intervention for ongoing headaches, I have had a lot of success over the years treating clients for head pain.  There are a few ways Massage Therapy can address headaches, but the most common way is by addressing trigger points in the neck and upper back.  A trigger point is a specific point in a muscle that, when stimulated, can cause referred pain. These pain patterns are remarkably consistent from one person to another and there are A LOT of trigger points that refer to the head, mimicking a headache.  Some trigger points can even mimic migraines or cause some autonomic phenomena to occur, such as watery eyes, runny nose, and light sensitivity. So, by addressing the tension in the neck and associated trigger points, headaches will often disappear!

There are so many different types of headaches, how can you know if Massage Therapy will help you with your specific headache?   There are some good clues to watch for that may indicate that your headache pain is associated with a pesky trigger point:

Are The Foods You Eat Causing Your Headaches?

Head shot of woman scowling

Most of us have experienced a minor headache before, but did you know that over half of us experience an excruciating headache at least once a year?  Unfortunately for many of us, headaches happen a lot more frequently than once a year and can be quite debilitating. When treating patients who suffer from chronic headaches or migraines, it is important to understand the “root cause” of their head pain. I find most patients clearly know what triggers their headaches. I have heard explanations ranging from the weather to their mother-in-law, but a key starting point to treatment is always understanding what truly triggers the pain.  For the sake of simplicity I will be using the term “headaches” to refer to both headaches and migraines. I completely appreciate that there is a difference as I too was once a migraine sufferer. Regardless of whether your headaches are occasional minor headaches or frequent migraines, the following information may help you feel better.

The Basics

Before we dive into the “food-headache” connection, there a few common culprits to chronic head pain that should be ruled out first. The following is a list of things to focus on.  After correcting for these factors, if the chronic headaches are still present, then it may be worthwhile exploring a food sensitivity connection.