How does massage help your HEADACHE?

So you’ve heard that massage can be really effective to help many kinds of headaches? But how does this actually work? Let’s dive into it!


We’re going to look at the 2 most common type of headaches – a tension headache & a cervicogenic headache.


Tension Headaches

Tension headaches often feel like a diffuse ache through all or part of your head – it can affect the front, the sides, back or just feel like it’s everywhere. Many people describe it as a feeling of their head being stuck in a vice. We find that people with tension head aches will of limitations in their neck movements caused through the tight muscles which are also causing the headaches.

With a tension headache most of the pain you feel in your head is referred from muscles in your upper shoulder and neck. This also irritates nerves running into your head which cause a tightening of muscles through the head – this means you now have referred pain into your head as well as the feeling of tightness around your scull (this can also cause pain).

Massage helps to relieve the tight muscles in upper back, top of the shoulder, neck and over your head to relieve this tightness. For many clients the headache will dictate quickly. New then set about making this a long term change to stop this headache coming back. We do this through some follow up treatment as well as advising of any lifestyle changes and giving you specific exercises to help.


Cervicogenic Headaches

A cervicogenic headache is a headache caused through issues in the neck. These issues can be muscular, joint, ligament or nerve and usually occur within the top half of the neck. This then refers pain into the head and neck.

With any joint or ligament injury there is always a muscular response – a tightening around the area with a formation of trigger points (which refer pain). In the case of cervicogenic headaches the muscular response often does not settle even after the initial stimulus – the joint or ligament injury has settled.

With specific, targeted massage techniques we release this tight muscle tissue – helping to restore optimal joint movement. By releasing these trigger points we can help to ease your headache pain levels. Although a cervicogenic headache can be eased quite quickly, ┬áthe time to be headache free can sometimes take a little longer than a tension headache. In saying that often we find that as the joint or ligament issue heals you can be left with a tension headache anyway.


Headaches affect such a large percentage of the population, that’s why we gear the team at Rapid Recovery up with the latest information and treatment strategies to get results for headache sufferers faster and long term.

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