Headaches effect most of us at some point in our lives with various causes such as stress, increased neck tension, dehydration, hunger, medications etc. For some, headaches can be a more regular occurrence which can impact day to day life and cause more and more muscular tension in the regions of the head, neck, shoulder and back which can further aggravate symptoms and become a cycle of dysfunction.
There are numerous headache types and for many of them, the cause is still unknown. Further research continues to find out more about why migraines and frequently occurring headaches occur, and what can be done to help and we keep up to date with the new information that emerges. Osteopaths tend to treat headaches that arise from the neck, shoulders and back. Osteopaths use a holistic whole-body approach, looking at everything in the picture that could be giving you your headaches- allowing us to help you in a very complete and caring way.
Patients who come in with headaches can expect a thorough case history which will check through possible causes of your headaches to try to establish whether there is a ‘neuro-musculo-skeletal’ link (soft tissues or joints in the local area). From here, you will either be referred to your GP for further investigations, or a hands-on examination of the head, neck, shoulders and back or other related areas will be advised to give us more of an idea of the structures involved in your headaches. We can then discuss the treatment options available to you. Osteopaths have good success with treating headaches when the neck and the rest of the spine and posture are involved as these can be readily helped with hands on treatment, Advice for what you can try at home to prevent headaches and what to do when you experience them is also an important part of your treatment.
It is important to see your GP if:
● it is your first or worst headache
● it is unusual to you in any way – affecting other body areas, sensations, vision, severe etc
● you’re experiencing new symptoms that your GP is not aware of in conjunction with your ongoing headaches