Sunday, March 27, 2011
A new drug-free, non-surgical therapy called Myofascial Release has been clinically proven to cure tension type headaches. This is good news for the millions of people who suffer from acute and chronic tension type headaches. The new therapeutic approach may bring hope and much needed relief. Tension-type headache (TTH) is a bilateral headache of a pressing or tightening quality without a known medical cause. Tension-type headache is classified as episodic if it occurs on less than 15 days a month and as chronic if it occurs more often. A survey from the United States by Schwartz et al in 1998 found a one-year prevalence of 38% for episodic tension-type headache and 2% for chronic tension-type headache.
With so many people suffering with headaches, there has been an enormous amount of research into finding a cure. Much of the effort has been directed to pharmaceutical interventions (including numbing agents, muscle relaxants, anti-depressants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and others). However, myofascial release has proven as powerful and effective breakthroughs in headache treatment, which is practiced by physiotherapists and osteopaths across the world for common musculoskeletal conditions.
According to Dr. Ajimsha. M.S; researcher and lecturer of School of Physiotherapy, AIMST University, Kedah – “this approach seemingly goes after the cause of the problem instead of merely masking symptoms (as is the case with so many drug approaches)”. He has done a study on 63 individuals with tension type headache by applying two different types of myofascial release techniques to different groups and compares it with a control group which received soft stroking around the head and neck.
In the clinical study published by the ‘journal of body work and movement therapies’ by Elsevier Ltd; Dr. Ajimsha. M.S proved that after the application of myofascial release the proportion of responders who had at least 50% reduction in headache days per month were 81.8% and 86.4% in the two myofascial release groups where as it was 0% in the control group. After the treatment patients in the myofascial release group reported 59.2% and 54% reductions in their headache frequencies compared to the 13.3% reduction in the headache frequency of the control group. Both the myofascial release techniques studied here were equally effective in reducing the headache frequencies. This study provides evidence that myofascial release is highly effective for tension type headaches and a significant proportion of patients with tension type headache might benefit from the use of myofascial release.
Ajimsha, M.S., Effectiveness of direct vs indirect technique myofascial release in the management of tension-type headache, Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies (2011), doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2011.01.021.
Posted by Dr. Shaw at 6:00 PM