Headaches and Trigger Points
Please note: Any severe or constant headache that begins suddenly and has the signs of weakness, dizziness, numbness or other physical sensations should be reported to a doctor immediately.
In Australia alone over 7 million people suffer from all types of headaches, which can cause debilitating side effects.Many people in the community who suffer headaches or migraines do not receive any treatment, opting for over the counter cures.
Tension type headaches are the most widespread headaches affecting people around the world today. Women are 40% percent more likely to suffer compared to men.
Common triggers of tension headaches are:
Too little sleep
Poor dental bite
Clenching of the jaws
Trauma to the Neck and back
These are a few symptoms that affect tension headaches.
Muscles that are commonly involved with the above headaches are the:
Trapezius (Located at the upper back)
Temporalis (located on the side of the head, this muscle Closes the Jaw)
Posterior Cervical Muscles (Located at the back of the neck its actions extends and rotation on the head and neck)
Masseter (Located under the cheeks it’s the Chewing Muscle)
Suboccipital Muscle Group (Located the back of the head just under the occiput extends, rotates and tilt the head)
Over a period of time trigger points can develop in the above muscles, if tension is sustained this will prolong the effects of the headache. These muscles can also be a major cause of headaches especially in cases of trauma to the neck. Each one of the muscles above could have a number of Trigger Points with each particular Trigger Point presenting a definite referral pain pattern.
Other factors contributing to tension headaches can be TMJ (temporomandibular joint) related, which is a complex problem involving dysfunction of the joint and the muscles that control it.
Two muscles which play a major part in TMJ pain are the:
Temporalis Muscle (located side of the head this muscle Closes the Jaw)
Masseter Muscle (Located under the cheeks it’s the Chewing Muscle)
The Temporalis muscle refers pain in an arc across the temporal region and into the cheeks. There are 4 Trigger points in this muscle that radiate pain along the side of the head and into the teeth.
Masseter muscle has deep fibres and superficial fibres, these Trigger Points in the superficial layers refer pain to the lower jaw, molar teeth and gums.
Deep fibres can refer to the mid cheek, these alone can cause teeth grinding and clenching.
The management of headaches is complex and difficult due to the wide factors that cause them. One way of being able to reduce the side effects and frequency of Tension Headaches is through Myofascial Trigger point therapy.
Consult The Movement Clinic for your next Trigger Point Therapy treatment.
Janet G Travell MD, David G Simons MD
Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction The Trigger Point Manual
Andrew Gallagher: Headache Management 1991
Headache Australia Foundation 2005
One foundation, which works on the generosity of the community, which also has major support from the medical profession research and education, is the www.headacheaustralia.org.au
This website has a comprehensive arrange of headaches and related symptoms, medical clinics to contact and a huge array of information relating to headache disorders. Please take the time to check out the wealth of information on this website.