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Does your headache look like this?

Posted Nov 28 2012 10:34am

Do you suffer from headaches similar to the red pattern up there? Do they have a tendency to hurt on both sides of your head and pierce your eyes?  Pain medications never really touch it? If you’ve been struggling with headaches like these I might have the answer for you.

These kind of headaches are what are commonly known as Tension Headaches. Tension Headaches are not related to migraine headaches, but are caused by myofascial pain (muscle pain).  The pain in the head is not caused by anything wrong in the head, but is actually referred pain (pain from one place that is felt in another) from a muscle.  The guilty muscle in this scenario is the Upper Trapezius (or upper trap for the remainder of this post.) The upper trap is a large portion of the trapezius muscle that helps connect your shoulder to your head.

Everyone has a trapezius muscle and with that just about everyone at some point suffers from a tension headache. Tension headaches are famous because they tend to creep up on you when you’re busy and definitely do not want a headache! There are a number of factors related to why these headaches are so frequent, including but not limited to posture and stress.

This isn’t to say that ALL headaches are caused by myofascial pain. There are many causes for headaches, some complicated and some are simple (ex: dehydration is a very common cause, and easily fixed with water) The reason I bring tension headaches up is because they are incredibly common, but they are also very easy to work with! Chiropractors excel with the management of tension headaches. Treating the muscles and joints involved many times can make a drastic difference in both the frequency and the intensity of the headaches. Like I said, this is something that can be a constant problem but is also manageable; if any of this post describes what you’re going through we should talk.

Dr. D


Smiley, M. “Headaches are not all in your head”. Massage Therapy.Com. November 26th, 2012. <>

Wikipedia. “Trapezius Muscle”. Retrieved November 27th, 2012. <>

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