How Massage and Myofascial Bodywork Can Help Migraines and Headaches
Recently I have had a number of clients who have found that deep tissue massage and myofascial release have helped relieve their migraines and or headaches.
Of course we have to remember that there are numerous factors that can be causing a headache or migraine, and that depending on what these factors are, there may be limits to the improvement we can provide our clients. Despite this I find that some regular deep tissue and myofascial work really helps the majority of cases I have seen.
So why can deep tissue massage and myofascial work help with these types of conditions?
Neck, shoulder and back tension
One reason why you might be suffering a headache or migraine can be because of stress and tension being put on certain muscles in the body, especially in the area of the head, neck, shoulders and upper back. A lot of us work long hours in body positions that have a negative impact on our muscles and myofascia, anything from sitting at a computer to driving all day or working in an awkward and confined space.
Locked long muscles
If we were only doing this once in a while then we may well get away with it, but day in day out our bodies start to complain and the muscles start to become aggravated and painful. Some muscles start to get short and tight and some will start to get locked in a lengthened position. You are probably familiar with the idea of short and tight muscles, but have you ever considered how the opposing muscles are being pulled into a lengthened position? It is often these locked long muscles and myofascia that become irritated and feel sore and uncomfortable.
Myofascial trigger points
After a while they can develop something called myofascial triggers points which are small areas of contraction within the muscles and fascia. These trigger points often start to refer pain along the muscles and fascia. So a pain that began in the upper shoulders and back of the neck can be causing pain and restriction up into the head. Over time the tightness and tension builds and can cause restriction to build up to the point where you can start to experience headaches or migraines.
Resolving muscle conflict
Deep tissue massage and myofascial techniques can release the locked long muscles and lengthen the opposing short tight muscles as well as releasing the myofascial trigger points. This then resolves the conflict between the muscles, creating better muscular balance, less muscular tension and less stress, and therefore start to improve and often rid us of headaches and migraines.