Headaches and osteopathy
Many people suffer from headaches and migraines, often for many years without finding a solution. A large proportion of these people also resort to headache pills and migraine preventatives which can build up stress within the digestive tract such as the liver and stomach.
The ‘mechanical’ causes of various types of headache are frequently overlooked. Muscular tension in the neck and shoulders can be a major factor and is often the underlying cause. This is usually a symptom of a joint problem in the neck that creates chronic muscular tension and can easily develop into a full blown headache. A history of neck pain is usually also present.
Stress and tiredness can also be a factor but this is more likely to lead to a headache when there is an underlying problem in the neck which has never been treated.
Causes of neck problems
- Trauma (whiplash, for example)
- Childhood injuries such as a fall on the head
- Lower back problems which create neck problems over years due to asymmetry
- Occupational – such as manual labour or poor ergonomics at the work desk
- Eyesight – particularly true when lenses are not properly adjusted and cause protruding of the neck
- Postural – rounding upper back and shoulders causing a kinking in the back of the neck
How Osteopathy can help
Osteopathy can make a big difference to a long term neck problem and alleviate a headache, even ones that have been troublesome for years. A medical history and osteopathic examination can discover problems in the body and check on spinal alignment. Treatment is then aimed at improving alignment, muscular imbalances and posture.
How osteopathy works
Osteopathy works by restoring normal mobility to joints and reducing muscular tensions. These two problems usually go hand in hand. This why massage on its own can be limited in its effects.
Long term joint stiffness also can compress or ‘pinch’ nerves which can then be the major source of a headache or migraine. By releasing pressure on a compressed nerve, the results can be almost immediate in relieving neck pain and stiffness.
What does osteopathic treatment involve?
You can expect some or all of the following during an osteopathic treatment:
- Soft tissue massage and stretching
- Joint mobilisation and/or manipulation to stiff areas
- Exercise advice – this can be what to avoid as well as what to do
- Postural advice
- Dietary advice when relevant (for example, avoiding foods that may trigger migraines)
- Suggested amount of treatment needed and optimal intervals between treatments
- Treatment addresses the body as a whole, not just the neck
So why not try it out? In one visit to an osteopath you can find out if your headaches or migraines have a deep cause from a neck problem.
At The Chelsea Osteopathic Practice, we have three registered osteopaths with appointments available from Monday to Friday. Early mornings and late evenings are available.
Where to find us
The Chelsea Osteopathic Practice
372, King’s Road
020 7349 4150