Headache pain is often dull and persistent and is triggered by muscular tension that often starts at the back of the head due to tight neck and shoulder muscles, and then spreads to other parts of the head, creating pressure, tightness and pain that may last for days.
Tension headaches are often caused by:
- Eyestrain and long periods of reading
- Muscular, tendinous, or ligamentous injury to the head or neck structures (i.e. whiplash)
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Overuse of neck or shoulder muscles through exercise
- Poor posture and extended periods in one position (e.g. extended time hunched at a desk)
- Smoking or too much coffee
- Stress, anxiety or depression
- Subluxation or fixation of cervical vertebrae
- Temporomandibular (TMJ) jaw disorders (i.e. grinding and clenching teeth)
- Trigger points in the muscles of the neck and head
In most cases, tension headaches are singular, (primary headaches) that have no underlying related pathology, though they can present with qualities from other types of headache; Vascular, Chemical, Inflammatory and Cluster headaches.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Myotherapy specialises in the treatment of headache caused by muscle tension. Managing headache causes is the most proactive and least invasive way to deal with this condition. Your therapist will discuss your physical activity, work and any stressful situations with you, and conduct range of movement assessments to establish the cause and most suitable treatment for your condition. Following treatment, your Myotherapist will establish ongoing options with you, such as regular massages, stretching, meditation and regular exercise.
Is massage indicated or contraindicated?
The appropriateness of treatment depends on what kind of headache you present. If it is related to a serious underlying pathology or to a bacterial or viral infection, massage is inappropriate and your Myotherapist may need to refer you to either an Osteopath, Chiropractor, Physiotherapist or General Practitioner for further testing.
For most tension-type headaches, Myotherapy, including Trigger Point therapy, Cupping, Dry Needling, Myofascial release and stretching is highly effective. Tension headaches caused by stress and anxiety or underlying issues, such as hormone imbalances, will also benefit from regular Reflexology and Reiki treatments.
For further information and to find out how Spectrum Health and Wellbeing can tailor treatment to assist you with your condition, contact the clinic today.
Spectrum Health and Wellbeing is unique in that it incorporates knowledge and skills derived from Myotherapy, Reflexology, Reiki, Oriental/Sports and Relaxation Massage, Psychotherapy, Strength and Condition, Fitness, Exercise Prescription, Martial arts and Asian philosophy together with Western medicine to maximise the effectiveness of your treatment.
Myotherapy incorporates techniques from other disciplines such as Osteopathy and is similar to Physiotherapy in many ways, focusing on the assessment of the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, fascia etc.) to eliminate dysfunction and aid recovery. Techniques from Asian therapies and other manual therapies (e.g. Dry Needling, Cupping, Manual Lymphatic Drainage etc.) are included, as well as utilising exercise prescription, stretching and electro-therapy to maximise results.