The majority of people living with headaches suffer from trigger points. Trigger points are focused areas of muscle tension that feel like a “knot” in the muscle. They arise mainly from past traumas, poor postures and stress. Trigger points lie dormant for quite sometime until they are pushed, poked or prodded, these are called “latent trigger points.” After some time the trigger points become inflamed enough and they start to cause pain that often radiates to a persons head. When this occurs the trigger point is considered “active.” The persons headache typically is on one side although it can be both, it often feels like it goes from the back of the persons head, around the side and into their eye. The trigger point can often be found in the upper trapezius muscle on the side of the headache. Having someone squeeze the trapezius muscle will cause an increased sensation of the headache pain, if so, you know they are in the right spot. The treatment for this it to have the person hold that spot in between their thumb and index finger with as much pressure as tolerated. After 6-10 seconds the sensation of pain should start to dull. At this point have the person let go of the pressure and then massage out the area for another 10 seconds then leaving it alone. This technique can be performed daily in multiple spots where knots are found. It should be preformed to tolerance and always on one spot at a time. If after 3 days without relief, consult your chiropractic physician. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call our office at (704) 399-1300.
Dr. Ryan Giel