Can Massage Help Alleviate Headache Pain in Children?

Most adults expect to experience an occasional headache that’s related to the tension of everyday life. Many adults also experience the pain and frustration of dealing with frequent and sometimes even daily headaches. But headaches aren’t an “adults only” issue.

The National Headache Foundation estimates that approximately 10.3 million children and teens in the United States, ages 5-17, experience headaches that may interfere with daily activities. Most are tension-type headaches and about 5% are categorized as migraines.

Our highly skilled team of health care providers at PANDA Neurology & Atlanta Headache Specialists has earned a stellar reputation for providing effective, cutting-edge treatment for all types of headaches. We treat patients of all ages from the great state of Georgia.

Here’s our take on treating your child’s headache pain with massage therapy.

What causes headaches in children and teens?

Headache pain in children and teens can be triggered by many things, including:

Very rarely, a tumor or other problem within the brain can cause headaches that typically worsen in frequency and intensity as the condition advances.

How do you treat childhood headache pain?

Effective treatment for headache pain depends on the underlying reason for the discomfort. At PANDA Neurology, we perform a thorough physical exam, medical history review, and neurological evaluation to identify what’s causing your child’s headache before recommending therapy.

Your child’s treatment plan may include medications, dietary changes, and in the case of tension-type headaches, massage therapy.

How can massage help with headache pain?

Tension headaches are by far the most common type of headache in adults and children. They can last from an hour or less to several days and often respond well to massage therapy.

Symptoms of a tension headache may include:

Note that headaches accompanied by vomiting, seizures, high fever, and other concerning symptoms are not indicative of tension-type headaches and require urgent medical attention.

Tension headaches are often triggered by stress, anxiety, and/or poor posture related to excessive screen time that causes muscles in your neck and at the base of your skull (suboccipital muscles) to tighten. Muscle tension is also a common trigger for migraine headaches in children.

When provided by an expertly trained specialist like those at PANDA Neurology, massage therapy is a safe and effective treatment for tension headaches. 

Massage relieves pain by loosening tense muscles and painfully knotted areas within the muscle tissue called trigger points. Massage is also relaxing and can help reduce stress and anxiety.

For an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for your child’s headache pain or other neurological issue, schedule a visit with us at PANDA Neurology & Atlanta Headache Specialists today. Call our office or request an appointment online.      

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