remedial massage for headaches

Experiencing the discomfort and pain of a headache is one of the most common health-related conditions in Australia. It is estimated that around 15% of the Australian population takes pain-relieving medications on a regular basis. Although headaches can affect any person regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or profession; people between the ages of 25-44 years are more likely to report having a headache. The good news is that the most common types of headache (tension headache) responds well to massage therapy; particularly remedial massage. If you are diagnosed with a tension headache and are looking for quick and natural relief, remedial massage for headaches can help you.  

Before we take a look at how remedial massage for headaches can help you get rid of the pain and discomfort associated with common tension headaches, it’s important to first understand the different types of headaches and what causes them. 

Which Type Of Headache Do You Have?

Headaches can range from common and benign to rare and potentially serious; broadly they are classified into the following 3 major categories:

  • Tension-Type Headaches (TTH) – these are the most common type of headaches. The symptoms (pain and discomfort) are usually very mild and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. Tension-type headaches can be treated using over-the-counter medications or remedial massage. 
  • Vascular Headaches – this is an Umbrella term and encompasses 4 different subtypes of headaches i.e. migraine headaches, sinus headaches, and cluster headaches; all of which manifest with different symptoms and are caused by different factors. 
  • Traction-Inflammatory Headaches – although very rare in occurrence, the traction-inflammatory headaches can be very serious and can be triggered by a wide range of underlying causes. Often times, the underlying causes are more serious in nature, therefore this type of headache should be taken seriously and diagnosed on time by a professional doctor to rule out potentially serious causes and start treatment in a timely manner. 

The good news is that tension-type headache (TTH) and a few vascular headaches such as migraine headaches respond well to remedial massage. 

Which Type Of Massage Is Good For Headaches?

headache treatment

Massage, in general, has proven to be effective in easing muscle tension, calming nerves, promoting relaxation and improving sleep patterns. Since different types of massage therapies work differently and target different parts of the body, it is important to know which type of massage is good for the kind of headache you are suffering from. 

Remedial Massage for Headaches

Studies have shown that remedial massage can be very effective in reducing both tension-type headaches and chronic migraines. Not only can remedial massage help relieve pain; it can also help decrease the duration, intensity, and frequency of headaches and minimise the chance of recurrence. 

Before treating, a remedial massage therapist first conducts a detailed assessment that includes carrying out a detailed medical history and performing various tests in order to find out the root cause of the problem and advise a treatment plan.  A typical remedial massage treatment may include any of the following massage techniques in combination with stretching exercises. 

  • trigger point therapy
  • myofascial release
  • deep tissue massage
  • cupping

Since there is no effective pharmacological treatment for common tension-type headaches and migraines, remedial massage for headaches is a great drug-free option for managing headaches.