Headache after massage – Causes and Treatment

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Written By Dr. Marcus Yu Bin Pai

MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.

Massage can bring a number of benefits to our health, not just that it’s a treatment for headaches. But unfortunately, some people may experience headaches after receiving a massage.

While massages are often used to treat headaches, there can be circumstances when you might experience a headache or fatigue after a massage. Serious side periods of massage are rare and post-massage headache is usually mild and temporary condition.

Massage has been shown to reduce stress and increase relaxation. It reduces one’s blood pressure and heart rate. Stressors are also reduced, which might make you feel better.

The point of this article is to replace the negative perception about massages with a more positive and informational one. Often, we forget to think about the good that massage can do for us and instead focus on how we feel after a visit to a day spa or masseuse.

Massage might be seen as cultural and taboo, but it is much more than just the ending touch to a night out on the town. It’s time everyone realizes that massage therapy is one of the best ways to relax and help our bodies recover from injuries, illnesses, stress, etc.

 Is a headache after a massage therapy normal?

 A headache after the massage is not typical, but it’s still pretty common. Here are some possible reasons why this issue occurs and how to avoid it the next time:

 Yes, your headache may well be the result of a tension headache. First, do not panic and believe you have a brain tumor or something. It is common to get headaches after massages, since what you do during a massage releases natural stress triggers in your body.

The headache that is experienced may be nothing more than tension in the muscles caused by the release of stress hormones after massage.

If you’re planning on getting a massage it’s important to prepare yourself beforehand. You may come in contact with some different chemicals and fragrances that have the potential to cause a headache or make you sick. Therapists typically use scented oils, candles, or other frag

There is no need for medical intervention for this type of headache, so once again, there are no worries. If it continues or worsens after repeated treatments, there might be some more profound cause for concern, but in most cases, it will go away when the body has time to recover from the massage treatment.

 Causes of Headache after massage

brain headache

 There are several reasons why this condition occurs. First, you should avoid any kind of movement just after the massage. If that’s not possible, it’s better to lie down on one side or even lie down and put your head on a pillow. Next, avoid any sipping movement of tea or coffee after massage and try to drink showers only as they help to reduce headaches.

When getting a deep tissue massage, make sure your masseuse applies the right pressure. Too much pressure during the massage may lead to sore muscles, bruising and increased blood circulation, which in turn could cause headaches later on.

 There are some possible causes of headaches after massage. Some of these possibilities- like dehydration, an ear infection, or migraine, are simple and can be easily solved. Other factors are more complex and may require input from a doctor or other health care professional.

Other reasons for your massage-induced headache may include:

  • Dehydration: Not drinking enough water often leads to headaches. Combining dehydration with other treatments, like massage therapy, can amplify these effects.
  • Too much pressure: If your massage therapist presses too hard on your muscles, it can result in bruising, increased pain, and/or a boosted blood circulation. All of these effects can cause headaches
  • Blood Pressure Fluctuations: If you have to get up very quickly after lying down on a massage table, you may experience changes in your blood pressure – this is also known to cause headaches.
  • Sensitivity/Irritation: Problems with sensitivity or allergies to oils or scents may be the cause of your headache.

Precautions – Headache after massage

 If you get headaches after massages, there are a few things you can do to precautions them:

 1. Drink lots of fluids before and after your massage to stay hydrated.

 2. Avoid alcohol before and after your massage.

 3. Get a massage from a certified and experienced massage therapist.

 4. Tell your massage therapist if you have any medical conditions that could be causing your headaches.

 How to prevent headache after massage

 There are many natural remedies for headaches, including:

 1. Taking a warm bath

 2. Drinking lots of fluids

 3. Applying a cold compress to the forehead

 4. Massaging the temples

 There are a few things that you can do to prevent getting a headache after a massage. Drink plenty of water before and after your massage.

This will help to keep your body hydrated and reduce the risk of headaches.

Second, avoid over-stimulation by limiting your time in direct sunlight or in front of bright screens.

And finally, make sure to eat a healthy diet and get enough rest every night so that your body is well-rested and less likely to be susceptible to headaches.

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MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.

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