by Michael Greenspan
Over the past few decades, chronic migraine headaches have increased dramatically among the U.S population. There has been an approximately 60% increase in rates over the years. Most of this increase has occurred in adults younger than 45 years, and women are slightly more affected than men.
One study showed that 80% of women and 70% of men reporting chronic migraine headaches had at least one physician contact per year because of migraine headaches; 8% and 7% of women and men, respectively, were hospitalized at least once a year because of the condition. In addition, chronic migraine headaches had a substantial impact on functional capacity: 4% of men and 3% of women reported a chronic limitation in normal activity because of migraine headaches and associated symptoms.
Clearly headaches are having a big impact on society today, with major dollars spent on disability payments, hospitalizations, doctor visits, and medication prescriptions. Most sufferers also self medicate with over-the-counter drugs. The use of these drugs has increased exponentially over the past ten years. All of this “treatment” has had little effect on the occurrence of headaches, or shown a healthy way to any sort of lasting cure.
The soft-tissue approach to headaches is much different. The neuromuscular massage therapist looks at tight muscles and “trigger points” which are affecting the nervous system. Headaches are just one of many symptoms that can occur when the neck and shoulder muscles are out of balance.
Rather than masking the symptom with ineffective and potentially unsafe medications, neuromuscular therapy treats the cause of the problem. Scientific studies have shown this approach to have merit. Neuromuscular Therapy uses specific techniques to release tight muscles and “trigger points” at the source of headaches to improve how your muscles function, which may in turn reduce your need for medications, lower the intensity of the pain, or even eliminate the headaches all together. Depending on how badly your muscles are out of alignment, or how long you have suffered, will both affect how you progress during care.
A comprehensive examination will determine if you are a good candidate for neuromuscular massage care. The examination includes a detailed history of how the pain has affected your life, muscle balance assessment, and a detailed posture evaluation.
If you are a part of the headache epidemic, it can be a sign that you have a muscle imbalance or “trigger point” condition the neuromuscular massage therapist may be able to help. Taking medications to cover-up the problem rarely makes the actual problem go away.
Michael Greenspan, Certified Neuromuscular Therapist
From Sarah – I go to Michael in Los Angeles, and the relief he gave me is amazing. I go right for massaging my own trigger points now whenever anything hurts, and it makes me feel powerful and in control of my body. You can get his free, helpful newsletters: at his site