Headaches – Do You Have Trigger Points?
In my last article, we looked at a very common form of headache called ‘cervicogenic’ headache stemming from problems in the neck and how the chiropractic approach can work wonders in the treatment of such a condition.
Now, I’d like to focus on another very common and often misunderstood type of headache that is caused by ‘myofascial trigger points.’
Identify and Treatment of Trigger Point Headaches
The reason it’s so important to identify and treat the trigger point headaches is that they contribute to the formation of migraine headaches, ‘tension’ headaches, ‘cervicogenic’ headaches and contribute to a condition called fibromyalgia. Trigger points are knots of contraction, taut bands of fibre that are found in muscles round the head, the neck and the jaw area. They can be felt as little lumps in the muscle tissue that you can identify. When you push on them they are tender to palpation and pressure and this pressure will re-create the headache the patient is presenting.
How a Chiropractor Treats Headaches
The way the treatment works is by sedating the trigger point which involves finding the area and applying pressure to that area. In essence, we are locating the knot and by applying pressure to it, the knot will dissolve. What happens is: you hold the point that re-creates the headache and after 20 to 60 seconds of pressure, the headache will dissipate and, in many cases, it won’t come back.
There can be multiple trigger points so you have to check various different areas to make sure there’s nothing else on the line. The patient might have several different trigger points in different muscles. So we usually start by treating the most severe. Another form of treatment is stretching or massaging the muscle where the trigger point is located.
Where are These Trigger Points Found?
The subtle nature of myofascial trigger points is that they sit quietly in the muscles around the skull, the back of the neck, in the face and the jaw and then suddenly activate themselves. For no good reason, they turn on and off. These are the areas where we can achieve almost miraculous results. People who have suffered from debilitating headaches for years, can walk away pain-free.
This is why it’s so important to identify and treat the ‘myofascial’ condition as the intensity and the frequency of such headaches can rob people of vitality and make a profound impact on the quality of their lives.
Diagnosis and Treatment
After the appropriate physical examination I will be able to diagnose your problem and tell you why you are having these headaches. A treatment program will be recommended or you may be referred for further investigations if deemed necessary.
Management of your headaches may include gentle chiropractic adjustments (no drugs or surgery) to normalise the function of your spine, advice on lifestyle and nutritional changes to help prevent further recurrences and advice on how you can further deal with the problem.
Arrange for a FREE consultation
Arrange for a FREE consultation today and let us help alleviate your headaches that are caused by myofascial trigger points.