I Have A Headache, Does Massage Therapy Help?

Can massage therapy relieve my headache? Headache symptoms may vary from person to person, but headaches generally cause a dull ache or throbbing pain in the head. This ache may be accompanied by pain behind the eyes, dizziness, or tensing in the shoulders. Upwards of 80% of Americans suffer from headaches throughout their lives. Not only are headaches painful, but they can affect productivity during the day and the ability to fall asleep at night.

 Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, though their causes aren’t well-known. They can occur during a time of stress or mental conflict—triggering muscles to contract which causes pain. Tensions headaches can be classified as being either episodic or chronic, depending on the frequency of which they occur.

 Symptoms of tension headaches include:

  • Dull ache, pulsation, or pounding in the head

  • Dizziness

  • Heavy feeling in the head

  • Vertigo

  • Pain behind the eyes

  • Brain fog

  • Aching, tense shoulders

  • Sensation of tightness/pressure across your forehead or around your head

 Though these types of headaches are extremely common, the underlying cause is still unknown. However, research has been conducted which explains the positive effects massage therapy has on treating headache pain. Massage therapy can reduce stress while focusing on trigger points in the shoulders and neck.

 Massage can also help with the following in association with tension headaches:

  • Reduce frequency and intensity

  • Reduce duration

  • Decrease medication usage

 A research study exploring the effects of massage therapy on chronic tension headaches concludes that muscle-specific massage is a functional intervention for reducing these types of headaches. It may seem easy to turn to over-the-counter medicine to tackle recurring headaches, but there is another route that is proven to be effective. Through massage therapy, trigger points and knots in the neck and shoulders are released, which can relieve the pain of tension headaches.

 For more information on how massage therapy can relieve your headaches, please visit Pragle Chiropractic And Massage Therapy at www.praglechiro.com or call 850-508-5951.


Quinn, Christopher, Clint Chandler, and Albert Moraska. “Massage Therapy and Frequency of Chronic Tension Headaches.” American Journal of Public Health 92.10 (2002): 1657–1661. Print.

Kennedy, Anne Blair. "Massage Can Be Effective for Tension Headaches." Massage for Tension Headaches | American Massage Therapy Association — American Massage Therapy Association. American Massage Therapy Association, Oct. 2011. Web. 31 May 2017.