Migraine and Headache
I find it encouraging that over 90% of my clients who come to me for headaches or migraine issues, get relief after 2 or 3 sessions. However, it's sad that so many folks suffer for years, needlessly, due to the unawareness of the effects of myofascial trigger points (MTrPs or TrPs). Many of our clients have total and permanent cessation of their migraines or headaches... while others gain considerable improvement, but may have to have occasional TrP treatments when the involved muscles flair-up causing the issue(s) to return. These flair-ups usually occur during times of physical/emotional stress.
When medical professionals cannot find the source of your headaches or migraines, then it is about 95% sure that MTrPs are causing the issue. Therefore, if they are removed, the pain should cease!
Fact: The most common TrPs that produce migraine are found in the trapezius, sternocleidomastoids, suboccipitals and temporalis muscles.
This TrP source also applies to women whose migraines are “caused” by hormonal changes (i.e. at ovulation and/or on or about the first day of menstruation). We have found that these women have “latent” (but potentially migraine producing) trigger points. Latent TrPs do NOT produce symptoms, but will only cause the muscles to be weak and fatigue easily. When the hormones change during the cycle, (at ovulation or just before the period) it appears to cause the “latent” TrPs to become “active”. And “active” TrPs produce symptoms... and in this case the symptoms are headache or migraine.
To have successful results from Trigger Point Therapy, you must find a therapist or bodyworker who has extensive knowledge in this field and implements it on a daily basis. Improperly applied TrP therapy will very likely result in only partial success (or more likely failure) with resolving your issue(s).
Note: I receive many inquiries regarding recurring headaches/migraines that are a result of motor vehicle accidents or similar trauma. Some have had these debilitating issues for years. They are commonly treated with Rx medications (because very few medical professionals realize that the cause could be trigger points). These Rx meds, often have little effect on the migraine or headache and tend to cause undesirable mental and physical consequences/side-effects. I've found that about 90% of those who I treat with these complaints, have trigger points that produce these pain issues... and once they're removed the headaches/migraines cease and the client can get off the medications (under their doctor's supervision of course)!
More on Headache and Migraine
Surprisingly, the pectoralis muscles, when afflicted with trigger points can be the underlying cause for years of headache misery.These “TrP tightened” pectoralis muscles will invariably pull the shoulders forward and thus put tension on the upper back muscles, including the trapezius. Then the neck muscles get stressed and before you know it... a nasty headache!
Your pectoralis muscles should always be checked for myofascial trigger points, when dealing with headaches or migraine.
We have many (very) happy migraine clients who finally got relief after trigger point treatments! In fact this type of neuromuscular bodywork can eliminate migraine and headache, if trigger points were the cause. Many women who get menstrual (cycle) related headaches/migraines, (often during ovulation and/or first day of period) have also responded very well when the trigger points are removed from the upper shoulder, neck and the base of the skull... almost all of these clients, happily reporting no further occurrences!
However, keep in mind that there are many factors that can perpetuate or re-establish trigger points in any muscle group; things like chilling of the involved muscles, poor diet, work, exercise and postural abnormalities, to name a few. These possibilities should be discussed during your trigger point appointment.
Note: We offer Continuing Education hands-on workshops, for headache and migraine issues.
Check our Workshop dates/locations