Tag Archives: migrane

Remedial massage now available at Real Fit Malvern East

It is with great excitement that I inform you, as of start of February 2018 remedial massage will be available from the new location of Real Fit Personal Training, 135 Waverley Road, Malvern East.

Just 3km from my current location, with tram access and street parking out the front, I will be available on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:30am to 7pm. My contact details have not changed. You can still book online or call me to book on 0450 721 661.

Since I opened in Malvern East, your loyal support has helped my business grow, and now I need a more accessible space to serve you better. I have been looking for a new home for the past few months and I’m happy to say that I’ve found a friendly and welcoming local environment at Real Fit to work from.

If you have any questions about the new location or my services, please call and I’ll be happy to help. I look forward to seeing you at Real Fit!

Muscle in Review: Sternocleidomstoid

Sternocleidomastoid muscle highlighted in red

Sternocleidomastoid, regularly abbreviated to SCM is located superficially, either side of the neck.

It originates at the sternum (sterno) and inserts at the clavicle (cleido) and mastoid process of the skull. It’s main function is head rotation and flexion of the neck.

How does SCM become injured?
SCM can be easily injured with sudden movement or jerks of the head, mostly commonly with whiplash.

 

Muscles in Upper Cross Syndrome

 

It is also often innervated in ‘upper cross syndrome’ where the upper neck and lower shoulder muscles are weak, while the upper shoulder and chest muscles are tight. This is largely due to poor posture as we hunch to use the mouse/keyboards or crane our necks over to look at our laptops or mobiles, or while driving.

What are the symptoms of an injured SCM?
A strained SCM can produce swelling and redness along the muscle, at the site of the injury. In severe cases, you also may see bruising along the path of the injury. If the strain results in a muscle spasm, you may notice a twitching or fluttering beneath the surface of the skin along the side of your neck. Stiffness, muscle fatigue and difficulty holding your head upright may occur, along with dull pain along the path of the injury, accompanied by sharp pain when turning or tilting your head.

Trigger points in SCM can cause headache pain in the back of the head, behind the ear, in the forehead but it can also cause a list of other symptoms that some may not normally attribute to muscles.

SCM trigger points

Primary Symptoms include;
Back of Head Pain
Cheek Pain (like Sinusitis)
Dizziness When Turning Head or Changing Field of View
Double/Blurry/Jumpy Print Vision
Dry Cough
Ear Pain
Earaches/Tinnitus (Ringing)/Itch
Feeling Continued Movement in Car After Stopping
Feeling Tilted When Cornering in Car
Front of Chest Pain
Frontal Headache
Headaches or Migraines
Post Nasal Drip
Runny Nose
Sore throat
Tearing/Reddening of Eye, Drooping of Eyelid
Temple and Eyebrow Pain
Temporal Headache (Temples)
Temporomandibular Joint (jaw) Pain
Throat & Front of Neck Pain
Travelling Nocturnal Sinus Stuffiness
Vertex Pain
Visual Perception Problems

How is SCM treated?
Applying ice for 10 minutes several times daily may relieve swelling and redness. Wearing a neck brace supports the weight of your head, temporarily relieving the stress on SCM although may only recommended temporarily and only in severe cases. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Neurofen) and naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve) and analgesic rubs can relieve some of the pain associated with the strain.

SCM is very responsive to massage and other soft tissue techniques such as gentle cupping, dry needling, and stretching.

  • Rotate your head to look over your shoulder, as far as is comfortable, not to strain.
  • Then gently tilt the head to the same side, as if trying to reach the ear to the shoulder.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds, rest and stretch the other side.

 

 

If you are a yogi, some basic yoga poses that can help lateral and anterior neck tension include;

Bitilasana (Cow Pose) and Marjariasana (Cat Pose)

Cow-Cat pose is a gentle up-and-down flowing posture that brings flexibility to the entire spine. It stretches and lengthens the back torso and neck. It’s a wonderful and easy movement to open and create space through the entire neck.
To begin with cow pose, kneel on your hands and knees in a neutral, tabletop position. Be sure to align the hands below the shoulders and knees directly beneath the hips. Looking straight ahead, inhale, and slowly extend through your spine as you look up and forward, softly arching through the back and neck. Take care to expand through your chest and lower your shoulders down and back.

Move into cat pose by reversing the movement as you exhale and bring your chin towards your chest while gently hunching and rounding your back. Repeat this sequence for 7 to 10 cycles, softly flowing with your breath.

Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Twist Pose)

The seated twist is a wonderful pose to bring flexibility to the entire spinal column. It provides an inner massage to the abdominal organs and encourages side-to-side flexibility of the neck.

Begin seated on the floor with both legs extended in front of you and hands at your sides. Bend the right knee and draw the right foot to the outside of the outstretched left leg. Sit up tall, inhale, and extend your left arm out to your left. As you exhale, draw your left arm across your body so the elbow joint gently wraps around your right knee. Take your right hand and place it palm down on the floor near your tailbone, fingers pointing away from you. Draw your chin toward your right shoulder, making sure to keep your spine tall, and the crown of your head reaching toward the sky. Bend the right elbow slightly to allow the right shoulder to sink down.

Breathe deeply in this pose for 5 to 7 breaths, making sure to twist (not crank) your spine comfortably. Repeat on the left side to maintain the balance in your body and spinal column.

Ear to Shoulder Pose

This is an easy pose that can be done just about anywhere. The pose facilitates the lateral movement of the neck as well as stretches down into the shoulder and trapezius muscles. This pose can be performed standing or sitting, provided the spine is straight.

Begin by looking straight ahead with your arms down at your sides. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, bring your right ear down toward your right shoulder. Try to avoid leaning your head forward or back so that your head remains in the same plane as your shoulders. Inhale as you draw your head back to center and exhale as you repeat the movement to the left.

To deepen the stretch, place your right hand on the left side of your head as it drops over towards the right shoulder. Don’t pull your head over; just allow the weight of your hand to softly guide it down. Perform this cycle 7 to 10 times per side before returning to centre. (1)

Headaches v. Migraines

If a client is experiencing neck & shoulder tension, I usually ask them if they are having headaches and often they tell me they’ve been having migraines. But what you may not realise is that there are a number of different types of headaches, and migraines are not a bad headache, per-say but have a different pathophysiology to headaches altogether.

Migraine
Often mistaken for a tension or sinus headache, a migraine is a neurological condition caused by an overreactive “switch” in the brain stem.

Symptoms include throbbing pain; sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells; nausea and vomiting; and other symptoms. Twenty percent of sufferers have aura—symptoms such as visual disturbances that precede the onset of pain. The pain is moderate to severe, with triggers such as stress, hormonal changes, weather changes, some foods. Treatments include stress relief, lifestyle changes, OTC and Rx medications

Tension headache
This is by far the most common type of headache, affecting as many 90 percent of people at some point in their life. It’s caused by tightness in the muscles of the scalp and the back of the neck. Symptoms include dull pressure or tightness in a band around the head, especially the forehead. Usually no other symptoms. The pain is usually mild to moderate caused by stress, fatigue or activity. There are specific trigger points in the head, neck and shoulders that cause referral pain into the scalp.

IMG_1213.JPG

Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and paracetamol can help. Massage, hydrating properly and taking some time to de-stress—deep breathing, gentle yoga, napping, or meditation—might also help.

Sinus headache
It’s fairly uncommon; most people who think they have one actually have a migraine. “Almost half of people with migraines have runny or stuffy nose or teary eyes with their headaches,” Dr. Tepper explains. Symptoms include pain around the nose and eyes; runny nose, often accompanied by fever. The pain can be mild to severe and is triggered by an acute sinus infection. Treatment includes over the counter pain relievers and sinus meds.

Cluster headache
Rare, it affects 0.1 percent of the people, more commonly men. Because it tends to occur at the same time every day, doctors suspect the hypothalamus—the part of the brain that controls the body clock—is involved. Symptoms are intense, penetrating pain behind one eye that usually starts shortly after you fall asleep. They last an hour or two but come in clusters of one or two headaches a day over several weeks. Excruciating pain, that can be triggered by alcohol, diet. Also more common in smokers.
Because not much is known about the cause there is little treatment. Prevention can include prescription drugs, nerve blocks injected into the back of your head, and melatonin. Triptans and other medications are used to treat an attack once it’s started.

Here’s some points to consider telling your doctor for a diagnosis and effective treatment;
Are my headaches are severe and pounding?
Do I often feel nauseous or sensitive to light and noise during a headache attack?
The headaches come before or during my menstrual cycle.
My parent/sibling has the same kind of headaches.
I have missed work or important events because of my headaches.
Moving around too much or bending over can make the pain worse.
The pain is often on one side of my head.
Pain killers don’t help much (or not at all).
My headache can last from about five hours to several days.