Can Massaging Really Help Relieve Headaches?

Dr Steven Allder, Consultant Neurologist at Re:Cognition Health, gave his expert opinion to the Daily Mail in a review of massage gadgets for headaches.

Headache Treatment: New Approaches

Whilst massage won’t relieve the symptoms of migraine, it may be effective in alleviating the pain of a tension headache.

There have been several studies published on the benefits of massage and the role it can play in relieving pain. The University of Miami found that massage can increase levels of brain chemicals that control our emotions, releasing “feel good” hormones, helping to relax and reduce stress levels.

Dr Allder highlights the importance of finding out what causes headaches

The latest gadgets reviewed by Dr Allder claim to ease headaches, promote sleep, stimulate the brain, relieve pain and stimulate the memory.

Before investing in the latest gadgets, Dr Allder recommends seeking expert medical advice for persistent episodes.

The Re:Cognition Health Consultant Neurologist stresses the importance of finding the trigger for the headache and also understanding the difference between migraines and tension headaches.

Below Dr Allder explains the difference between migraine and tension headaches:

What are tension headaches?

Tension-type headache (TTH) is the most prevalent headache disorder in the general population, whereas migraine is the most common headache diagnosis in the primary care setting as it is generally more severe, and patients with migraine seek medical help.

  • It’s characterised by a mild to moderate bilateral headache
  • It’s classically non-throbbing and has no associated symptoms or features
  • Unlike migraine, there seems to be only a minor role of hereditary and genetic factors in episodic TTH to the exception of chronic TTH

What is a migraine?

Migraine is a neurovascular condition defined by attacks of moderate to severe throbbing headache. Chronic migraine occurs when headaches occur more than 14 days per month for 3 months, where only eight of these headache days need to have migraine characteristics.

  • It’s often accompanied by sensitivities, notably photophobia and phonophobia, but also sensitivity to odor and movement
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms are also common, as well as changes in brain states such as emotional, cognitive, autonomic or vestibular

Read the full article to see how the gadgets scored 

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