What I propose is an approach to these people’s painful conditions that puts the nervous system first. Specifically, I’m looking at pain that originates from a mechanical deformation of nerve tissue and that can change with position or movement.Read More
News about Well+Able and massage therapy, pregnancy, running, and health
A short video by the RMTBC on what to expect from a Massage Therapy visit with an RMT
Tension-Type Headaches: what can you expect?
According to the International Association of the Study of Pain (IASP), Tension type headaches (TTH) are:
“headache attacks with mild to moderate pain intensity and is often described as having a pressing or tightening (non-pulsating) quality that is not aggravated by routine physical activity, such as walking or climbing stairs. The pain lasts for at least several hours to days and is predominantly felt bilaterally.”
TTH originates from a combination of tissue sensitivities in the head and neck as well as how the nervous system interprets the signals from those tissues. Development from episodic to chronic TTH is thought to be accompanied by increasing Central Nervous System sensitivity to the tissue signals like a car alarm that is triggered by a loud truck. Diagnosis of TTH is based on a “featureless” headache and normally results in a neurological examination. Most commonly found are tender spots around the head and neck. Additional diagnostic workup by your doctor is important if you have additional symptoms other than headache. Chronic TTH is often associated with medication overuse.
Tension-type headache is the most common form of headache. It can be categorized into three subtypes according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders based on headache frequency:
(1) infrequent episodic TTH (<12 headache days/year), (2) frequent episodic TTH (12-180 days/year), and (3) chronic TTH (>180 days/year)
(2) frequent episodic TTH (12-180 days/year)
(3) chronic TTH (>180 days/year).
Stress seems to play a big role in Tension Headaches. Managing that stress can be beneficial in reducing frequency and duration of these headaches.
According to the International Association of the Study ofPain:
The lifetime prevalence of episodic TTH is almost 80%, and that of chronic TTH is 3%. Women are slightly more affected than men. The age of onset peaks between 35 and 40 years, and prevalence declines with age in both sexes
o Headaches are the most prevalent neurological disorders and among the most frequent symptoms seen in general practice.
o 50% of the general population have headaches during any given year, and more than 90% report a lifetime history of headache.
o The average lifetime prevalence of migraine is 18%, and the estimated average prevalence in the past year is 13%.
o The prevalence of migraine in children and adolescents is 7.7%.
o Tension-type headache is more common than migraine, with a lifetime prevalence of about 52%. However, only frequent or chronic tension-type headaches are disabling.
o 3% of the general population have chronic headache, i.e., a headache ≥15 days per month. They are the most severely disabled.
Clinically, this is the most easily and effective type of headache for an RMT to treat. In our experience, after an initial assessment and treatment, future treatments usually should be around 30 minutes 1-3x a week with a follow up in 1-2 weeks depending on severity and chronicity. After your first visit the normal course is of at least a 50-80% resolution of head pain around 30 minutes after the massage treatment. This relief should last from 3 days to 2 weeks and will increase with future treatment.
Make sure to ask for some home care such as exercises and or movements which will depend on the tissues and structures that are sensitized then work together with your Massage Therapist to create a plan of action that is effective and obtainable.
What a Great Weekend!
We are always looking at increasing our skills and knowledge to better serve our patients. On May 5th, Marcy and Mike attended the sold-out RMTBC symposium: Our Aging Population: Mobility, Wellness and Independence.
After a rousing First Nations welcome by Coastal Wolfpack, Isobel Mackenzie, B.C. Seniors Advocate started off the day with a fascinating, in depth look at the demographics and conditions of todays' seniors population. Her talk was a great start to the days theme that Massage Therapy can play a key role in keeping mobility and wellness in seniors thus helping you keep your independence as you age.
The first keynote address was Dr. Lorimer Moseley, one of the most respected pain researchers in the study of pain. Dr. Moseley is a fantastic presenter. He has been a strong promoter in giving people with persistent pain more tools to manage their pain.
The second Keynote was with Dr. Karim Khan who is a MD at UBC as well as the editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine. He gave a great talk on how diet and exercise is very strong medicine in preventing illness. The day ended with an esteemed panel of Andrew Nemeth, Yvonne Poulin and Dr. John Sloan who provided tremendous information on their work with seniors.
simple lifestyle modulators: diet, exercise, avoidance of smoking and excess alcohol, together with moderate physical activity reduce colorectal cancer by 50%
- Karim Kahn
We had a fun and informative Saturday! Thanks to the RMTBC who always put on a world class symposium every year. Also, I would like to thank them for some of the photos and content of this post.
Do you ever have neck or back pain after a stressful day? Maybe a headache?
Why do you get tight muscles when something stresses you out?
are nerve receptors that are involved in pain generation. There job is to send
a signal to the brain that they have been stimulated. The brain knows that a
signal from these receptors in the body is usually a sign of danger and will usually
then decide that the body is in pain, specifically to that area. In his talks,
David Butler often brings up adrenaline
sensitive peripheral nerves and the amazing ion channel turnover. Specifically, this
means that these nerve receptors can become extra sensitive to the chemical adrenaline, also called epinephrine. With this sensitivity, less stimulation is
needed to send a danger signal to the brain. Think of a car alarm that is set
to go off when someone breaks the window. When the alarm is hypersensitive the
alarm may go off if a loud truck drives by. No damage happened to the car but
the alarm still went off. When we are stressed out our body produces more
adrenaline. This can be a good thing because it helps us to prepare for action.
Unfortunately, if a nerve is damaged, stretched, or pressed on for too long it
will create "baskets" of adrenaline sensitive fibers. As David
"If a person has a highly adrenoreactive area of peripheral nerve and if they are in a state of persistent elevated stress then repeated firing into the CNS will occur. And if the person is stressed, central inhibitory controls will probably be lifted anyway and a persistent neuropathic pain state may ensue."
this means is that if someone has a nerve that is sensitive to adrenaline and
if they are always stressed out then the danger signal to the brain will be
almost constant. If that is the case then the Drug Cabinet in the brain will be lifted
away and persistent pain will likely develop. Not fun.
Fortunately, you have some control over this. The first line of defense is to reduce your stress level thus reducing your adrenaline. Also, just knowing that your pain is not from a damaged muscle but stress chemicals, your brain will then be less likely to think of the signal as pain. Third, if you get out and move your body in a way that reduces any specific nerve perturbations you will have less chance of a future sensitivity. Most good Manual Therapists (RMT, Chiro, PT, etc) will know how to help you do this.
Most forms of massage therapy have good evidence behind them on their ability to reduce stress. Two of the modalities Michael implements, DNM and Simple Contact, work on a model that directly addresses pain and adrenal sensitive nerves.
If you have any questions about this feel free to contact us at well+able and we would love to help you out if we can. It would also be of benefit to watch the previous stress video, the Drug cabinet video and the What is pain video.
After months of hard work getting the clinic up and running we now have a website. Please look around and check it out.