Living With Migraines

Don’t let migraines get in the way of daily living

Hands on relief for migraine

Posted by healthwyse on February 8, 2008

The symptoms may vary, but the pain associated with a migraine is always unpleasant. Most people have there own coping strategies but there’s additional help that’s within arms reach.

Studies have shown that massage therapy can relieve or prevent pain connected with migraines, though it doesn’t replace the need for medication and help from a doctor, experts say.

Migraines can be reduced in frequency by regular massage sessions, which decrease anxiety, heart rate and amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, according to the International Journal of Neuroscience.

Headache expert and neurologist Dr. Audrey L. Halpern of Rye, N.Y., says massage should be concentrated around the upper neck and shoulder regions.

The neck is important because it is connected to the trigeminal nucleus caudalis, a group of neurons centered in the brain stem that extend into the upper cervical spinal cord, i.e. the upper neck. Communication between these neurons and other neurons in the neck that mediate control of the neck, may be the underlying reason that migraines can cause neck pain and that neck pain can prompt migraines.

 So next time you feel those familiar warning symptoms, ask someone you know for a neck and shoulder massage. But don’t overdo it or they’ll probably wonder why you’ve had an increase in migraine recently ;p

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One Response to “Hands on relief for migraine”

  1. I’ve noticed that my migraines generally are kickstarted by pain in the nape of my neck. Having a bulging disc at the C3/4 and a spinal lesion (TM) on the C1/2, this makes absolute sense. Thanks for sharing this interesing blog post.

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