Many patients with persistent headaches rely on pain medications to get them through the day. Unfortunately, overuse of pain medications may come with side effects such as additional headaches, stomach problems, and even liver damage.
For patients searching for a more natural way to relieve headaches, massage therapy and chiropractic could be the answer. A pilot study from the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapeutics evaluated the effectiveness of massage therapy for managing tension headache.
Researchers followed a group of 18 patients who had suffered from tension headaches for an average of 7.5 years. The patients were treated with a structured massage therapy program, including two 45-minute massage therapy sessions per a week. The massage therapists targeted myofascial trigger points, or hyperirritable spots of pain located in taut bands of muscle fibers.
After three weeks of treatment, headache frequency decreased by an approximately 21% on average, and headache intensity dropped by 30%. The patients also reported the duration of the headaches decreased from 4 hours to 2.8 hours on average. They also experienced a corresponding improvement in disability scores. The researchers concluded this is preliminary evidence that massage therapy can reduce headache pain and disability.
We frequently see patients suffering from tension headaches at our clinic in Estero, FL. These headaches are often caused by muscle spasms, muscle tension, stress, poor posture, and food allergies. Taking pain medications may mask the symptoms temporarily, but for long-term relief of tension headache, it's imperative to treat the underlying source of stress and dysfunction.
Our Estero massage therapists and chiropractors can identify the causes of your tension headaches. We use natural techniques like posture correction, spinal adjustments, massage, and exercise rehabilitation to naturally reduce and prevent tension headaches. Call Chiropractic Care and Rehabilitation for lasting relief of headache today.
Moraska A, Chandler C. Changes in Clinical Parameters in Patients with Tension-type Headache Following Massage Therapy: A Pilot Study. Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapeutics 2008; 16(2):106-12.