Headaches can affect anyone, regardless of age or background. They are one of the most common medical complaints worldwide. Headaches can be the reason a person sees a medical or allied health professional, or it can be symptomatic of underlying issues. These underlying issues can include (but aren’t limited to) various types of stress, hormonal surges/imbalances, high blood pressure (hypertension), and anxiety.
There are different types of headaches a person may experience.
- Tension headaches, which are the most common form of a headache, begin slowly and gradually build in intensity. The person may feel as if they have a tight band around the head, accompanied by dull aches and pain in the neck. This type of a headache can be either acute (short-lasting) or chronic. Acute attacks can last a few hours or several days. Chronic headaches occur for two weeks in duration and recur for a period of at least 3 months.
- Migraine headaches may cause a pulsating, throbbing pain usually only on one side of the head. Along with the aching, people may experience blurred vision, light-headedness, nausea, and sensory disturbances. Though migraines are the second most common form of a headache, it can have the biggest impact on one’s life. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), migraines are the sixth highest cause of days lost at work due to disability worldwide.
- Cluster headaches are shorter in duration. They usually last between 15 minutes and 3 hours. In between clusters, there may be no headache symptoms. This headache-free period can last for months. Cluster headaches typically are one-sided, often described as sharp or burning, and typically located in or around one eye.
- Thunderclap headaches are secondary to life-threatening conditions. These conditions include cerebral venous thrombosis, meningitis, intracerebral hemorrhage, aneurysms, and pituitary apoplexy.
Headaches can be treated in a variety of ways. While thunderclap headaches require immediate medical attention, the other forms of headaches mentioned above are receptive to over-the-counter medications, as well as complementary/alternative therapies. Massage therapy to the head, neck, and shoulders can help to relieve tension and decrease the presence and duration of headaches. Research has been published by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has shown that with respect to tension headaches massage can:
- reduce depression and/or anxiety
- decrease perceived pain
- decrease anger status
- decrease tension
- reduce frequency
- reduce intensity
- reduce duration
- decrease medication usage
- increase range of cervical [neck] motion
While none of us can fully escape headaches, there are things that we can do to find some relief. Massage therapy on a regular basis can help with stress-related headaches. It can also help with decreasing the intensity of chronic headaches.
Yours in Health,
Are you searching for an expert Licensed Massage Therapist, who knows the ins and outs of chronic pain relief, Look no further! I’m Ellie Dukes, Licensed Massage Therapist-specializing in prenatal and oncology massage therapy for 12 years. However, I offer an array of massage services.Visit me at Trinity Massage Haven in Blue Bell PA. Call to Schedule your appointment today at 267-584-3015 or Book online now.
Self-care is important. All of my clients know that I can help them help themselves…but they have to help themselves! You are with your body WAYYY more than I am, so you gotta treat it right. When it comes to pain, massage therapy is an excellent way to address it. Chronic pain, which is pain that has lasted about six months or longer, can be trickier to manage. Often, one form of therapy or modality is not enough. You may need multiple approaches to get the job done. The foods we put into our body can help heal us in many ways, and it can also help with pain management.
B vitamins serve many functions in the body. They have been found to improve moods, boost the condition of hair, skin and nails, combat fatigue, as well as decrease muscle pain. A deficiency can cause depression and chronic fatigue. Luckily for us, B vitamins are pretty accessible. A supplement form can be found in grocery stores, health food stores, and online specialty shops. Before buying any supplement, be sure to check the expiration date. This ensures freshness and potency of the vitamin. You can also get them from various foods. These foods include poultry, grass-fed dairy products, cage-free eggs, fish, brussel sprouts, carrots, cabbage, and avocados.
Potassium has a multitude of benefits. It aids in muscle strength, water balance, electrolytic functions, nervous system, and decreases muscle cramping. Many foods contain ample amounts of potassium, including avocado, acorn squash, bananas, spinach, sweet potato, and salmon. Tryptophan converts protein to serotonin and helps improve sleep and improve moods.
As we all know, calcium aids in healthy bones and teeth. It also helps decrease the chance of osteoporosis and aids in muscle contraction, heart, and nerve function. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your bones will begin to weaken, and it will put you at risk for various bone diseases and chronic pain in general. Foods that are high in calcium are broccoli, cheese, almonds, oranges, okra, kale, sardines, and yogurt.
Magnesium helps with pain relief, preventing migraines, and boosting energy. It also helps to regulate potassium, calcium, and sodium levels. Foods that contain magnesium are almonds, tofu, spinach, pumpkin seeds, and bananas. In deficient amounts, magnesium contributes to muscle cramps, anxiety, and restlessness…especially in the legs. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath can do the trick!
Now that you know about vitamins and mineral that are helpful in managing chronic pain try including them in your diet on a regular basis…along with exercise, stretching, and massage therapy.
Yours in Health,
If you are looking for someone with massage therapy expertise, who also knows the ins and outs of chronic pain relief look no further! I’m Ellie Dukes, Licensed Massage Therapist-specializing in prenatal and oncology massage therapy for 12 years. Visit me at Trinity Massage Haven in Blue Bell PA.
Schedule your appointment today at 267-584-3015 or click here to book now.