FASCIA AND HEADACHES.

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

WHY IS MY HEAD SPLITTING APART? THE FASCIAL KEY TO HEADACHE RELIEF.


When you are suffering from a headache the world seems like a cold and lonely place. Everyone has experienced the feeling of that drill boring into your head and splitting it apart, but what if that feeling lasted for days, for a lifetime? There are a lot more people suffering from this problem than you might imagine. For them life can seem like a chore, especially when the headache goes on and on.


I have been extremely lucky, suffering from very few headaches my whole life, and most of the ones I have suffered, have been caused by late night drinking binges. As a therapist however, I have seen many people come through my door suffering from a malady that they are desperately seeking to escape from.


If you are one of these poor unfortunate souls, my heart goes out to you. I am not here though to commiserate, I am here to offer hope. There is hope, I have seen it, I have seen the demon be exorcised.


The truth is that there is no easy no solution, consistency and management of the contributing factors that cause your headaches may be a permanent reality in your life. But, the pain doesn't have to be all that consumes you, now you can start to focus on the solution.


Headaches are one of the most underrated debilitating health issues that is suffered by a large minority of individuals. Why does this happen? Researchers believe because everyone suffers from the occasional headaches, we downplay the seriousness of this problem for certain individuals.


The fact is that in the Global Burden of Diseases report, 2016, it is estimated that three

billion people suffer from headache disorders and only one billion of those are migraine sufferers, the rest suffer from Tension Type Headaches (TTH).


What is the difference?


A Migraine Headache is defined as, the most common type of vascular headache involving abnormal sensitivity of arteries in the brain to various triggers resulting in rapid changes in the artery size due to spasm (constriction). Other arteries in the brain and scalp then open (dilate), and throbbing pain is perceived in the head. Connected to a genetic trait. (medicine.net).


A Tension Type Headache (TTH) is defined as, dull pain, tightness, or pressure around your forehead or the back of your head and neck. Some people say it feels like a clamp squeezing their skull. They’re also called stress headaches, and they’re the most common type for adults (webmd.com).



This article is focusing mainly on TTH, but that isn’t to say that Fascial dysfunction doesn’t play a role in Migraine Headaches, it is just more directly involved with TTH.


What does Fascia have to do with headaches?


The Fascial KEY


What was happening to my clients, what is happening to so many people?


There were common themes in my clients’ stories. Usually there was some very stressful experience that they had, or, and usually plus, they had a significant physical trauma, at some point in their past. Occasionally it was more of poor postural mechanics practiced over a long period of time that was causing the problem.


What does stress, or trauma, or even poor posture have to do with headaches?


Headaches are characterized by pressure or squeezing in the head or neck, causing pain. If the circulation to our heads is negatively affected in some way, we will start experiencing these symptoms, not to mention muscles tension in the neck and head can create these symptoms too.



When we experience trauma (physical or stress related) or our posture puts undue strain on our neck musculature, the Fascia changes its nature from communication to support. This means that the Fascia will thicken and create supportive holds to keep the head upright.


In a nutshell we always need to look where we are going. Our bodies will transform in whatever way is necessary to accomplish this requirement.


For instance, if someone is looking down at their phone all the time the strain on the musculature of the head/neck/and upper back will quickly increase beyond the ability of the muscles to support it. What I mean by this is that if the head is kept at a 60-degree angle for an extended period of time the weight of the head increases from 12 pounds to as much as 60 pounds. Try holding sixty pounds out in front of you at shoulder height and see how long you last. The Fascia creates structures that allow us to hold our heads in this position. Don’t get me wrong we should never do this to ourselves, but in today’s world, more and more people are suffering from this problem, created by an unhealthy addiction to our phones and our mobile world.

Just like in the example, if this young man was to continue to follow this pattern daily over years the body would change to accommodate his behaviour. His neck would move forwards of his shoulders and a hump would form at the back of his neck, he would probably develop extra thick bands around his neck, ropes to hold his head up, and the tissue at the front of the neck would thicken to help support his heads weight. All this happens to help support him in his poor pattern of behaviour..


The same kind of compensation can occur if the body has experienced a physical or emotional trauma.


The thing to understand is that your body, your Fascia is not betraying you. It is helping you perform the tasks you are asking it to.


Think of it this way, your body is a perfect slave, but a horrible master. What I mean is that it will do anything you ask of it even if it isn’t good for you.

The problem with this is that this kind of compensation in the body can lead to a decrease in circulation to the head, and potential compression of the nerve flow. Start pinching a nerve and see what kind of pain you create. Posture like this affects the vertebrate of the neck, creating grinding points that quickly wear down the bone. Again, another a culprit in the pain formula. Finally, the muscles can’t handle the stress and starts to deteriorate under the load. One more pain signal to add to the mix.


The good news is that our bodies are always ready to change and heal. With just a few simple changes you can start to reverse the process of these compensations and start to eliminate your headaches.


Here are three, simple to follow, techniques that will help you to change your pain reality today.


Three Easy Things You Can do to Start Eliminating Your Headaches.


Your body is working hard to protect you, even from yourself sometimes. All you have to do is give it the proper signals and it will start to reverse the process. Here are three easy steps you can start to incorporate into your life to change your body today.


Step 1: Drink more water!​

I know you have probably heard this before but the more water you drink the better the circulation of your blood. If your blood is properly hydrated it easier for the blood to flow to where it is needed. This will help decrease the effect of compromised blood flow to your head.

Fascia is made up of a large percentage of water (70%) to maintain healthy fascia the more water the better! At minimum you need two and a half litres a day, but you may need as much as three or more if you are active or in healing mode.

Step 2: Sit up Straight!​

That’s right, it turns out granny was right. Improving your posture not only makes you look better for others, it is also good for you. Proper posture encourages circulation and decreases strain on the muscles of the neck and upper back.

If you have poor posture your Fascia has to change its nature to support you. If this occurs the Fascia which should be fluid and malleable, becomes rigid and can negatively affect circulation and muscle function.

Step 3: Breath Deep!​

Breath can play a huge factor in controlling the stress that you might be feeling

Fascia responds to stress as it would to physical injury; it changes its nature and goes into more a supportive or protective role. This leads to more tension in the muscles and negatively affects circulation in the body especially the head.


The Wrap Up

I know that so many of us have had struggles or are struggling with unrelenting headaches. I am not saying that it is easy to fix this problem, no matter what happens it will take work. That said you now have new hope, if you know why your headache is occurring, that is half the battle.

So, follow these 3 easy steps and your Fascia will become healthier and function better and your headaches will start to disappear.

Good luck and stay Fascia healthy.

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