Headaches - Townsville Massage

massage_headHeadaches can literally be a real pain in the neck, for both the therapist and patient. To determine the cause can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

If the pain can be momentarily relieved by pressing into muscles in the neck, base of the skull, temples and forehead, it’s a fair indication that muscle tension could be a clue that muscular tension may be to blame. This pressure interrupts the pain nerve signal from these muscles to the brain.

Headaches are often the result of a rotten day, causing muscles to tighten and blood vessels to be constrained. This can cause a reduction of blood supply to the brain and a build-up of toxins.

While relief for headaches can easily be accomplished with a pill, if they won’t go…  occur on a regular basis; or a pill doesn’t fix them quickly, it’s well worth giving a remedial massage a shot.

There can be many causes of headaches – dehydration, hormonal or circulation problems, sinus inflammation, pre-menstrual tension, allergies, blood pressure, constipation, bowel toxicity, eye strain, head injuries or trauma and cervical and jaw misalignments, and that’s just some of them.
Some of these could even be pointers to more serious medical problems that may require medical attention.

Very often, however, headaches are a symptom of muscle imbalances somewhere in the body and can be successfully treated with massage for long-term relief.

Massage promotes better circulation of blood, lymphatic fluid and oxygen, with consequent improvement in the body’s immune system and other organs. Massage also helps eliminate toxins from the body.

Contributing Factors.

If you regularly suffer any of the three types of headaches – muscle contraction, tension or migraine – there’s a strong chance tight muscles apart from just those in your neck and shoulders are a contributing factor.

A Few Possibilities.

  • Rounded shoulders tend to pull the neck and head forward. When this happens, muscles at the back of the neck from the base of the skull to the top of the shoulders are in a constantly contracted to tilt the head back on top of the neck – basically so you can look straight ahead rather than stay staring at the ground. Tight pectoralis (chest) muscles are usually the main cause of rounded shoulders.
  • Stand relaxed in front of the mirror with your hands by your sides. If you notice one shoulder and/or one hip is slightly lower than the other, this is a strong indication of other significant muscular imbalances needing treatment.
  • Tight or sore leg muscles, perhaps after you’ve been working at a desk or standing on a concrete floor all day, can be a sign of hip misalignment. This in turn pulls your spine out of proper alignment – right up to the cervical vertebrae supporting your skull. You often feel the tension in your neck and shoulders.

By correcting muscular imbalances elsewhere with massage, you remove the initial cause of the tension in neck and shoulders, and therefore can often stop muscle-related headaches occurring.


If any of the following scenarios fits your circumstances, one or more massages could prevent or relieve headaches without the need for any medication.

  • A job where you work at a computer most of the day. Repetitive work with movement of the arm and shoulder contributes muscles tightening and neck tension.
  • Regular lower back or hip pain can indicate a range of muscular problems affecting your spine. These could be pulling your thoracic (upper back) and cervical (neck) vertebrae out of alignment.
  • A kyphosis posture (your upper spine curves more than normal), which pulls your head forward.
  • Your jaw clicks or you grind your teeth. These are usually symptoms of tight neck, jaw and other facial muscles pulling the jaw out of alignment, which is often incorrectly assumed to be a dental problem.
  • Shortness of breath for no obvious reason (even if you’re fairly fit). Your ribcage may be distorted due to muscular imbalances in the spine and elsewhere, preventing your lungs completely filling or emptying of air.
  • High stress levels due to family, work or financial problems or responsibilities. Stress often manifests itself as muscle tension.

Medications like aspirin, paracetamol or stronger drugs often provide quick or short-term relief of headaches. Pills may be all you need, but if your headaches keep coming back, you should look at other treatment options. Even one really thorough remedial massage is often all you need.


As mentioned earlier, dehydration is one of the many causes of headaches. It is perhaps the major generic cause of headaches but is often the least obvious because people often don’t know they are dehydrated.

Before you try any other form of treatment for headaches, you should drink lots of plain water…not tea, coffee, coke, beer, etc – just water… plain H2O… water.