Does Massage Therapy Provide Relief for Chronic Headaches?
More than 37 million Americans suffer from headaches and migraines. About three million have a chronic form. It is estimated that one in six people experience these problems. If left untreated, chronic headaches can affect your social, personal, and professional life.
This disorder has been successfully treated over the years with massage therapy. Regular massages induce a state of relaxation that helps your body heal itself and fight stress. They also relieve trigger points and muscle spasms, ward off depression, and promote mental well-being, which further prevents headaches.
Research shows that patients who receive massage therapy experience better sleep quality and fewer migraines during treatment. Other studies have found that regular massage reduces the occurrence of chronic headaches and sleep disorders. At the same time, it boosts serotonin levels, leading to a better mood, increased appetite, and more restful sleep.
About 70 of people say that chronic headaches affected their relationships. Another 91 percent have missed work because of their condition. Most sufferers experience throbbing head and pain, nausea, vomiting, vision changes, light sensitivity, and pain on one side of the body. A typical attack can be of moderate or severe intensity, and last a few hours to three or more days. Stress plays a key role in the onset of migraines and headaches.
Massage therapy addresses the most common causes of headaches, such as inflammation, anxiety, stress, active muscle trigger points, and intracranial pressure. This form of treatment relaxes your mind and body, reduces the perception of pain, and relives tight muscles in the back of your head and neck. It can be used as a standalone therapy, or combined with biofeedback, acupuncture, and dietary supplements. Most patients experience pain relief within 24 hours. Compared to traditional drugs, massage therapy is safe for people of all ages and has no adverse effects.