If you are among the estimated one in one hundred Canadians or 300,000 individuals living with arthritis, there’s something you should know: massage therapy really works for relief of arthritis pain.
Chronic Daily Headaches
Headaches plague an increasing number of North Americans, affecting quality of life and productivity. There are two main categories of headaches Primary and Secondary. Primary headaches are a pathology unto themselves whereas secondary headaches result from an under lying pathology. There are three common types of Primary headaches, Tension, Cluster and Migraine. Some patients suffer from more than one type of headache at the same time. Headaches range in severity from life threatening disease to a minor annoyance. Less than 0.004% of these headaches are due to a serious pathology.
Chronic daily headaches are headaches that occur 15 or more days a month. They include all types of non threatening headaches and are characterized by constant chronic daily or near daily headaches that fluctuate in intensity. The head pain can be caused by post traumatic headaches, migraines, drug associated headaches, fibromyalgia, spinally mediated headaches and temporomandibular headaches. Chronic headaches that began as migraines are called transformed or chronic migraines and tension headaches that evolve into daily headaches are called chronic tension headaches. All of the preceding can also be aggravated by medication overuse. Patients suffering from transformed migraines usually have a previous history of intermittent migraines by the age of 20 to 30. In 80% of cases this evolution is triggered by analgesic overuse and psychological factors. In the other 20% it is most likely linked to a head or neck trauma operation or flu like illness. The patient experiences similar characteristics to a migraine intermittently or continuously. Chronic tension type headaches are characterized by an over contraction of the skeletal muscle covering the scalp, the anterior and posterior neck. The most common symptom other than pain is a lack of deep or restorative sleep. Much like other chronic pain syndromes the patients suffer from a lowered quality of life.
Migraine headaches are a neurological disorder and patients suffering from migraines are considered to have a hypersensitive nervous system. When the nervous system is stimulated a neurochemical change is provoked. This change affects the trigeminal nerve; there is a release of vasoactive amines and substances that cause inflammation of the meningial arteries and stretching of the trigeminal afferent branches.
The migraine is self-perpetuating because a feed-back loop is initiated into the trigeminal nerve.
Signs and Symptoms Lasting 4-72 hours
With nausea without vomiting or phonophobia and photophobia attachment release, soft tissue massage, Trigger Point Release and postural retraining have all proven to be beneficial for patients suffering from headaches.
We use these techniques to soften the muscle tissue of the neck and upper back as well as the occipital region where the neck meets the head to lessen and even end headaches.