When you suffer from chronic headaches, all you want to do is make it through the day.

Smiling hurts.   And sneezing might just make your head explode.  In the clinic, most headache sufferers resolve themselves to controlling their pain with medication.

While medication can be a blessing when your head is pounding, why not consider preventing the headache in the first place?

Anatomically, the head is not terribly different from the rest of your body.  It is made up on bones, nerve, blood vessels,  muscle, and fascia.  Lots of fascia.  In fact, the cranium is covered with a fascial helmet which forms a direct connection with the fascia at the back of the neck, between the shoulder blades, the low back, and down the backs of your legs to your feet.

Fascia can exert a tremendous amount of tensile force on the surrounding tissues and bone.

In fact, unaddressed fascial restrictions can cause joint alignment problems on a persistent basis.  For those who find relief from chiropractic care, myofascial release can significantly prolong the time needed between adjustments.

Fascia can also be responsible for increasing the compressive loads on the bones of the cranium.

Tightness of this cranial fascia can result in a build up of the cerebrospinal fluid which protects and nourishes the brain and spinal cord.  This fluid needs to move  freely from the top of the head to the triangular bone of the pelvis (sacrum) and all points in between along the spinal cord.  When the cranial fascia tightens down on the cranial bones, it can impede the flow of this vital fluid, creating a host of problems – including that headache.

So how could your fascia get to be such a problem in the first place?

The fascia of the head is being assaulted on a daily basis.  Just think of how many times you’ve whacked your head on cupboard door.  With each blow, fascia is laid down at the point of stress.  How about falling while learning to ski?  Or that minor car accident when your head hit the headrest with a little more force than usual.  And then there was that time on the roller coaster.  And when your dance partner accidentally dipped you a bit too low.  If you think about it, the fascia of the head has had its fair share of traumas.  They don’t hurt at the time.  But they do add up.

While you may not remember any significant events in your recent history, fascia tightens down over time if not periodically released.

And stress of any kind, mental or physical, will cause existing fascia to get just a bit more inflammed and sticky .  If you notice your headaches worsening during the holidays, final exams, or tax time, you’re not imagining things.

So what’s the solution to your headache problem?

1. Consult your physician

2. Balance the soft tissue system with myofascial release and craniosacral therapy

3. Nurture a healthy lifestyle with ample rest, reduction of stress, appropriate diet and exercise

Free up that fascia, and feel better!