Massage is a soothing way to reduce tension in your muscles, and many people seek it out because it’s relaxing and because it feels good. Beyond just feeling good, though, massage can actually have some therapeutic effects, including a reduction in migraines and other headaches.
How Massage Is Used to Prevent Migraines
In general, massage is best as a preventive treatment for migraines. By tackling tension and stress and stimulating the release of neurotransmitters that can help head off migraines, massage makes migraines less likely.
There haven’t been too many studies that look at the effectiveness of massage for migraine headaches, but there have been a few. The results seem promising, but they’re at very low levels of significance. For example, one small study from 2006 looked at 47 migraine sufferers, divided evenly between massage treatment and a control group. Patients were followed for 13 weeks. The treatment group patients had massage performed once a week from week 5 to week 10 of the study. The treatment group experienced a reduction in migraine frequency as well as improvements in sleep quality and stress levels. These improvements continued through the final week of follow-up.
How Massage Can Treat Migraines in Progress
Massage can also be used as a treatment for migraines that are in progress. Although some people find their migraines make them very sensitive to touch or any interaction, other people find that massages can help reduce the pain levels associated with migraines.
One study looked at the ability of massage to reduce the intensity of migraines in progress. In this very small study 10 men who experienced migraines were given a massage in the middle of their migraine and their pain levels were measured before and after the massage. Patients experienced significantly reduced pain. On a visual analog scale, reductions were about 69%.
Heading Off Muscle Tension
One of the main benefits of massage for migraines is that it reduces muscle tension. But what if you could stop tension from building up in the first place?
For some people, that’s what TMJ treatment does. If you have an imbalance in your jaw system, it can lead to more muscle tension. TMJ treatment restores the balance in your jaw, keeping your muscles relaxed so they don’t lead to headaches.
If you think TMJ might be involved in your migraines, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbia, SC TMJ dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.