Headaches and Myofascial Pain

About 80% of headaches in the general population are tension headaches, which are headaches caused by a sustained contraction of the neck-shoulder or face muscles. Even migraines, which account for another 13% of all headaches, frequently occur together with tension headaches and improve significantly when tension headaches are resolved.

How can tight muscles cause headaches?
What is myofascial pain?

If any muscle in your body tightens up and maintains that tension for a long period of time, it will eventually develop knots or nodule-like spots inside it. These knots are easy to find because in addition to having a distinct, nodule-like texture, they are tender when pressure is applied to them. These tender knots within a contracted muscle are called myofascial trigger points. (Myo means muscle, and fascia is the connective tissue that holds muscles together.)

Although trigger points are sensitive to pressure, they initially don’t cause any problems. Yet over time, myofascial trigger points start producing a sensation of pain in distant sites. That type of pain is called referred pain, because it originates from places outside of where you perceive it.

Pain referred from myofascial trigger points is called myofascial pain. If left untreated, myofascial pain may become chronic and develop into a condition known as myofascial pain syndrome or myofascial pain disorder.

Each muscle in the body tends to develop myofascial trigger points in specific locations. And each trigger point has a specific, predictable and reproducible pattern of pain referral.

Trigger points in the neck muscles refer pain to various areas of the head and trigger points in the face muscles refer pain to the head and face.

Below are some examples of referral patterns for specific trigger points in the neck muscles associated with tension headaches. The black x sign indicates a trigger point within a muscle and areas marked in red illustrate where that trigger point sends referred pain:


testimonialsI have known Teresa for many years now. I have arthritis, and I cannot take any pain medications, so I see Teresa any time I develop pain in any part of my body. With Teresa’s help, I have been able to keep myself in good shape and maintain a cooperative body to enjoy a my life.

-Female, 71

testimonialsI began treatment with Teresa after a traumatic accident. She provided me with a thorough evaluation and a carefully executed treatment plan. Her very knowledgeable and professional care for my headaches and myofacial pain was coordinated with my other doctors. Teresa treats the entire person with great sensitivity and compassion. She gives you the most effective manual therapy and provides the highest level of commitment to your well-being. I owe my more comfortable lifestyle to Teresa and her wonderfully caring approach!

– Female, 41

testimonialsI suffered from chronic pain in my hip and buttock. I was treated by my chiropractor because I thought that it was a recurrence of sciatica, but spinal adjustments didn’t make any difference. My doctor suggested that I stop chiro- and see Teresa. Teresa diagnosed me with “myofascial pain”. After working on a number of knots in tight muscles, even after my first session I felt better. With continued treatment my pain fully resolved.

– Male, 44

testimonialsI developed pain on my hand and forearm which practically prevented me from working. I tried traditional PT but it had very limited effect. My boss was treated by Teresa for a similar problem and suggested that I would consult her. I am glad that I did: Teresa explained to me that my pain was myofascial. She used special techniques to manually release trigger points and my pain gradually started subsiding and eventually went away.

– Male, 32

testimonialsTeresa treated my 7-year old son using her magical hands. It was like a miracle! Physical benefits of the treatment were amazing, but I was equally impressed be Teresa’s ability to connect with the child and show him love, compassion and genuine, selfless interest. My son loved coming for treatments with Teresa and still talks about her, even though he is all better and does not see her anymore.

– Female, 43

testimonialsTeresa saved my life! I had chronic, incapacitating back pain for 3 years. I saw chiropractors, doctors, acupuncturists and physical therapists – nobody could help me. Then I found Teresa. The difference was night and day. Now I no longer wake up in the morning with back pain. I am walking up to 5 miles a day and am able to garden without back pain. What a relief! Life is a pleasure again.

– Female, 53

testimonialsI came to Teresa with fibromyalgia, old injuries, and assorted sensitivities. I was delighted to find that she’s a highly skilled, compassionate, dedicated practitioner who’s constantly learning more, training more, and doing more for her patients. As far as I’m concerned, myofascial release and craniosacral therapy with Teresa are the way to go for chronic pain and soft-tissue conditions.

-Female, 61

testimonialsTeresa has helped me resolve carpal tunnel syndrome, which was interfering with my ability to work as a computer programmer. Thanks to Teresa’s treatments I am now able to work without restrictions and I am no longer concerned about my future.

-Male, 31

testimonialsMy daughter, after being treated by Teresa at the age of 13 wrote a paper about her, titled “My Personal Hero”. It’s been a number of years since she completed her treatment of severe, daily headaches, jaw pain and other painful conditions at New Body – New Mind and to this day, she remains absolutely pain-free. My daughter is now in college. She excels at school, plays sports and lives a life of a happy, healthy girl her age. None of us every thought that it would be possible. Thank you, Teresa!

– Female, 59

testimonialsI am not a patient of Teresa (my wife was), but I wanted to write a testimonial because her work with my wife has saved my life and my marriage. My wife has suffered from chronic pain, anxiety and depression all her life, which somehow we managed until 10 years ago, when it became unbearable. I was at the end of my rope (not to mention my poor wife!) and our life, as well as our marriage started falling apart. My wife’s acupuncturist suggested that my wife sees Teresa for hypnosis and specialized “massage”. This turned out to be a true life saver for both of us. My wife is now much more comfortable physically. And emotionally, this is the first time since I have known her she is optimistic and focused on things other than her pain (which is now greatly reduced). I cannot thank Teresa enough. I recommend her treatment to any person who suffers from chronic pain.

-Male, 58

testimonialsIf you are looking for a myofascial pain specialist, Teresa is the best. She’s treated my neck, back, feet and legs on different occasions. She can use trigger point release to get rid of stubborn knots in the muscles like no one else! But when she treated my mother, she used much gentler techniques, also with great success. I could not recommend her more to anyone who suffers from myofascial pain.

– Male, 49

testimonialsTeresa is a master clinician and diagnostician, and a rare, wonderful healer. After several awful experiences with physical therapists and programs which used the “no pain, no gain” exercise approach to healing chronic muscle and tissue pain and inflammation, I was referred to Teresa. Teresa’s approach was totally different from I saw in other clinics. She did hands-on therapy (which was amazingly effective), taught me gentle exercises and stretches, and guided me slowly back to increased functionality—with humor and tough love.

-Female, 52

testimonialsI was fortunate to receive a recommendation to see Teresa for chronic neck pain and tightness, which I had suffered from for years. Chiropractic, acupuncture, and physical therapy with other therapists had not worked. Massage brought only temporary relief. Manual therapy with Teresa proved to be so effective that we were able to fully resolve my condition. I am very grateful to Teresa for that, and I am glad I know where to come for help if I have any other problems in the future.

-Female, 48