Headaches / Migraines
About Headaches and Migraines
Headaches are quite a common complaint and have a wide range of causes. Nearly everyone experiences this kind of pain at least at some point in their life. Meanwhile, only 10% of people may deal with migraines.
40% of headaches fall under tension type. This kind of pain has muscular origins. In many cases, it also has cervical tension or restriction. The related muscular tension can originate from the occipital muscles at the base of the skull or the trapezius, which connects the skull and the neck to the shoulder blades (also called scapula). The group of muscles called the scalenes can additionally cause cranial pressure and neck stiffness.
Often times, the cause of these muscles becoming tight is changes in the balance of the autonomic system in the body. This internal system governs the stress response as well as the presence of trigger points.
Though not as obvious, dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (known as TMJ) can also cause headaches. In this case, the temporalis and massater muscles may clench and develop chronic tension.
Therefore, treatment of certain kinds such as tension headaches focuses on restoring balance to the nervous system and reducing tension in the affected muscles. Both acupuncture and manual therapy tend to produce good results for alleviating headaches.
Migraines however can be different. They are generally more severe in symptoms and more complex to treat than tension headaches. In addition, migraines are typically considered to have more vascular origins. This type of source for this pain can also impact the trigeminal nerve. Nonetheless, acupuncture and manual treatment have produced successful results for migraines as well as various types of headaches.