Over 37 million Americans routinely suffer from headaches. There are many reasons for this (e.g. genes, environment, lifestyle) but the one thing they all have in common is they want relief. Research suggests that massage is one of the best forms of relief available here.
Common Types of Headaches
When your head hurts you may think that everyone else’s head hurts in the same exact way that yours does. However, this isn’t the case. There are several different types of pain that a person can suffer from here, including:
- Cluster are more common in men. Typically, these occur at night and start with little to no warning. Once they begin, they’ll last for anywhere from 6 – 12 weeks. Sometimes they’re seasonal. Symptoms include a painful, red, or droopy eye, facial swelling, sweating. The headache itself will only last 15 minutes – 3 hours.
- Sinuses in your forehead, cheekbones, and nose can swell up due to allergies causing pressure to mount and sinus difficulties to form.
- Tension is a very common cause of head problems. The pain is typically mild and occurs on both sides of your head. They can easily be treated by taking over-the-counter medication.
- Vascular head issues cause a pounding feeling in your head. These will last three or four hours at a time.
- Classic migraines cause blurred vision, auras, and auditory hallucinations. These will make you feel weak and numb. They’re typically caused by stress, food, medication, and not enough sleep.
- Aura-less migraines generally cause throbbing pain on one side of your head and light sensitivity. They can last for several hours to several days.
Common Treatment Modalities
Once you’ve discovered what type of headache you’re most likely suffering from, it’s time to decide on which treatment modality will work best for you. The ones that have shown the most promise include:
- Deep tissue is a technique whereby firm pressure and slow strokes are used to reach deep muscle layers and help them relax. Your therapist will make deep, gliding movements using either their knuckles or their thumbs. Since it’s applied to your head it’ll help with any pain in this part of your body. Studies have shown that this will alleviate suboccipital muscle spasms, which lie at the root of your head pain.
- Trigger point technique is like the deep tissue technique in that your strained muscles are relaxed when you apply direct pressure to the muscles that are in the area where a patient’s primary pain is found (e.g. around a patient’s eyes, at their temples).
- Neuromuscular technique specifically pinpoints and releases trigger points (a.k.a. stiff muscles). This can help a therapist get directly to the source. However, it’s vital that the right amount of pressure be used and to only work on one side of a patient’s head at a time so that each muscle receives proper treatment.
When you’re ready to take a proactive stance against your headaches by getting a massage, make sure you contact Maria’s Professional Massage. Maria is an experienced therapist with numerous years of training and experience. You can’t go wrong with her so give her a call today
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