Osteopathic treatment for headaches
Headaches might be a less obvious reason to visit your Osteopath, but they are a common symptom that Osteopathy may help to reduce.
There may be several reasons you’re suffering with headaches since there are many forms. In most cases it’s not serious and once the underlying cause is established, headaches can be reduced by making simple changes in your lifestyle. One cause can be tension or strain in the muscles or joints of the neck and back. Headaches due to eye-strain is also a common diagnosis, if the headache is during or at the end of the day – make sure to get your eyes checked regularly.
How can osteopathy help?
Your osteopath will take a detailed history before they begin your treatment – a very important part of your initial appointment. This will help to determine whether your headaches are likely to be successfully treated with osteopathy, or whether you need further examinations from your GP.
According to a report by the NHS, the highest incidence of headaches are tension-type and neck related. In 2004 research showed that manual manipulation treatment was as effective as prescribed drugs for chronic headaches, but with much fewer side effects. Recent research has also shown that osteopathy may be helpful in managing long term, chronic migraines.
Questions you may be asked by your osteopath:
- Location, type and severity of pain
- Duration of headaches
- If there is a daily/regular pattern
- When the pain started
- Does a particular movement or activity aggravate it
- Any visual changes, fever, sore throat or stiff neck
Treatment from an osteopath may help to ease the discomfort of tension headaches. A range of techniques can be used to restore balance back to your body, including soft tissue massage, dry needling, articulation and manipulation to the muscles and joints in your neck, back and thorax.
During your osteopath treatment advice on posture, lifestyle habits and stretches may also be given. Here’s a few general pointers:
Lifestyle changes to reduce headaches
- Drink plenty of water (at least 2l a day)
- Keep to a regular sleeping pattern
- Eat regularly – avoid skipping meals and make sure to eat a healthy, balanced breakfast
- Reduce stress triggers
- Avoid eating too much trigger food/drink – alcohol, chocolate, blue cheeses
- Quit smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Practice good posture
If you suffer with headaches and want to know if osteopathy can help you, get in touch before you book your appointment here. To book your treatment, call us on 07762 576 492