Every day millions of people suffer from headaches. Headache pain can be due to stress, muscle or eye strain, hunger, lack of sleep or a variety of other causes.
Tension headaches or tension-type headaches are the most common form of primary headaches. A primary headache is a headache which is not caused by another medical condition or ailment. Tension-type headaches can be categorized as episodic (fewer than 15 days a month) or chronic (more than 15 days a month for a period of over 6 months). Normally a tension headache will last 4-6 hours, but the duration can last from minutes to days and even for years in some rare chronic cases. The pain from a tension headache can be described as a constant pain or pressure, alternately as a throbbing pain, located in the front, top or sides of the head.
For many headache sufferers, pain medication, or drugs, are a common way for dealing with tension-type pain. However, there are many drawbacks to taking over-the-counter or prescription painkillers for tension headaches, especially for those who suffer from chronic pain, or have liver or stomach problems. Many may prefer to simply avoid taking drugs to combat pain when possible and utilize natural, drug-free treatments to find relief. For those with serious or chronic pain issues, it is always important to consult your doctor before beginning any kind of treatment.
A common cause of tension headaches is believed to be tight muscles in the back of the neck, shoulders, at the base of the skull and on the scalp. When these muscles tighten, they contract and pull, often resulting in pressure and the sensation of pain. Massage therapy has been shown to be a very beneficial remedy for these kinds of conditions, which are associated with stress and tension.
Treating tension headaches with therapeutic massage:
Therapeutic massage is an effective method in the treatment of tension-type headaches and other stress and muscle tension related ailments. Massage techniques, as applied by professionally trained, qualified massage therapists, have been specifically developed to treat pain by treating the source of that pain: the muscles and tissues of the back of the neck, shoulders, at the base of the skull and on the scalp. Warming, softening and relaxing these muscles, tendons and connective tissues, through therapeutic massage, eases the pressure which can cause tension headaches and is a powerful technique for relieving pain associated with this ailment. Full body massage treatments also aids in relaxing muscle tension throughout the body and alleviating pain. Even a tense calf muscle can cause a person to react by tensing his or her shoulders and neck against the pain, which can then lead to a tension-type headache. This is especially true of the muscles of both the lower and upper back, as they support much of the body's weight and directly connect to the muscle groups associated with tension-type headaches. In these ways, massage therapy trips tension headaches by addressing the specific muscles that cause this type of pain, but also through a holistic approach, promoting full body relaxation and general muscle and body health.
Massage is also a great way to relieve and manage stress, which is a common cause of tension-type headaches. Treating a tension headache with massage is not only healthy in that it avoids the use of drugs and their potential adverse side effects, but massage therapy is good for overall body health, blood and lymphatic circulation, muscle tone and general well-being. It is also recommended as a preventive medical technique for avoiding tension headaches. If the body's muscles are maintained in a relaxed, healthy state through regular massage treatments, then tension headaches are generally less likely to occur. On top of all, massage can be a wonderfully pleasurable and relaxing experience and is recommended for both physical and psychological wellness by many doctors, nurses and other health professionals.