Headaches are pain that is caused for a number of different reasons. There are three main categories of headaches: tension, cluster, and migraine.
Tension Headaches make up about 90% of the overall headache complaints. They tend to be bilateral and are usually a cause of stress and increased muscle tension, injury to external structures and muscles, and trigger points. Tension headaches respond very well to massage. Common questions your therapist will ask include identifying specific locations of the headache to help determine which muscle houses the trigger points and tension creating the symptoms: Top / Back / Side / Front/ Eye and Eyebrow area / Back-of-neck / Cheek and Jaw
Cluster Headaches seem to have a pattern and like to come and go. One could experience a headache in the morning, have it go away a few hours later, then come back again. This can last for days, weeks, or even months, then disappear without sign or signal. They seem to bunch up or “cluster” together. Although they do come and go, this does not negate the severity of the problem. Many people who experience this type of headache complain of a very sharp and excruciating pain. It is extremely helpful to identify things or specific periods of time that relate to the occurrence of Cluster Headaches.
Migraine Headaches can cause symptoms throughout the entire head, they commonly are felt unilaterally. Although migraines are not completely understood there can be several “triggers” to bring on a migraine such as certain kinds or foods, smells, and sounds, stress, hormone deficiencies, pregnancy, menstruation and menopause. Most clients will have an awareness of their own triggers and do all they can to control and repress the symptoms.
Treatment of headaches can be a difficult thing. There are many variables to consider, some of those variables are dehydration, hypertension, nutritional allergies, lack of proper supplementation and the most common is fascial and muscle-tension that causes headaches. In fact, the tension and pain associated with these fascial dysfunctions can mimic migraines.
One may not realize how much their body posturing contributes to their headaches. When we spend the day crouched over our computers or if our daily habitual movement is looking down with shoulders rounded forward doing some sort of repetitive motion the front muscles in the chest region begin to tighten and in return will put more stress and tension on the back muscles causing them to work harder and bind up to counter act the pull that is coming from the front.
This tug of war effect occurs between the front and the back and stress builds up to a point that can cause a headache. Most clients experience headaches of one type or another, as we begin to understand where the pain is being felt will help us determine where to begin.
As Bodyworkers & Functional Movement Therapists we focus on balancing the muscle and fascial systems of the body to improve range of motion, posture, and support pain free living. We are able to view your muscle imbalances and Design the best treatment plan specific to your needs and properly address your headache and migraine type symptoms.