About NU Osteopathy

Headaches happen for a variety of reasons and though they are rarely serious, they do impact our lives. Sometimes they can even affect our ability to concentrate or communicate normally. They are also incredibly common, in any given year chances are you will experience at least one.

While the majority of headaches come and go, occasionally they can linger for days, weeks or even months. For anyone who suffers with regular, reoccurring headaches it can make life miserable. The impact on your day to day activities can be huge, possibly even hindering your work life.

Most people opt for temporary relief in the form of pain medication but this doesn’t address the underlying cause. Leaving headaches untreated means they are more likely to return, perhaps more often and sometimes worsening. Osteopathy is an effective way to treat a range of headaches and the cranial-sacral approach in particular works extremely well.

It’s especially good for people who suffer with chronic pain who don’t wish to medicate with painkillers. It is used to treat tension headaches and helps by alleviating the tension in contracted muscles and relax an over sensitive nervous system.

Tension headaches are the most common form of headache. Symptoms can include a tightness or pressure around your head and many people describe the pain as a clamp or vice squeezing the skull.

They’re often referred to as stress headaches however, more often than not the underlying cause of these headaches arises due to strain in the joints or muscles in the upper back or neck.

Once these joints have been loosened, pressure is taken off the affected nerves, relieving the build up of tension that may have lead to the headache in the first place. By selectively relaxing the muscles causing the headache, osteopathic treatment eases the pain. This means you can reduce your suffering and perhaps more importantly resume normality.

Cranio-sacral approaches to head pain can also aid people who suffer with regular migraines. Migraines usually affect one side of the head and regularly feature sensitivity to light or sound. In some cases, the pain is so unbearable that it is accompanied by vomiting, stomach pain or nausea.

Seeing an osteopath for migraines can assist the nervous system to respond less severely to bright lights and sounds, making them easier to manage and having less impact on your life.

Cervicogenic headaches are persistent headaches that occur on a daily basis, the pain is ordinarily felt at the back of the head, near the neck and sometimes involves pain around the eyes.

These are secondary headaches caused by an underlying physical issue or other illness. Osteopaths are trained to spot any serious medical issues and work with GPs, referring patients if necessary.

The cause can be a disorder of the spine and any component bones, discs or soft tissues. If this is the case, an osteopath can utilise manipulative techniques such as manual spinal adjustments and gentle manipulation of the head and neck to encourage better posture.

Cluster headaches focus on one side near the eye or temple, they can sometimes be accompanied by a blocked nose on the same side. Osteopathy can alleviate this pain and prevent the re-occurrence of cluster headaches.

Of course, each person experiences headaches differently so osteopathic treatment will be tailored to your own unique symptoms and all advice offered will factor in your lifestyle.

Once the cause of your headache has been established, an osteopath can advise you on steps that can be taken, whether this is through exercise, changes in posture or gentle massage to the affected area. Don’t let headaches impact your life, get in touch today and see what osteopathy can do for you.

Nigel Utton Norwich Osteopath

FAQs

Your osteopath will need to be able to see and physically examine areas of your body contributing to your complaint. We use drapes and towels to ensure your dignity during treatment.

Patients who are uncomfortable undressing to their underwear are welcome to wear shorts, sports bra or close-fitting garments.

Young people under the age of 16 will only be treated with an accompanying adult. Everybody else is welcome to bring a trusted companion to their appointment.

During your first appointment, your osteopath will ask you about your medical history and lifestyle, as well as any symptoms you may be experiencing. This is very important as it will help them to make an accurate diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment.

They will then examine the areas of your body causing discomfort. They will need to feel for any tightness in the soft tissues and stiffness in the joints and will need to touch these areas to identify problems.

They will explain what they are doing as they go along.

The cause of the problem may be in a different area to the pain, for example, pain in your lower arm is often linked to the nerves in your neck.

Treatment typically involves several sessions of manual therapy designed to release tension, stretch and relax muscles and mobilise joints. We may also use gentle visceral and cranial techniques to help return the body to optimal functioning.

If you are uncomfortable with any part of this, you have the right to ask them to stop at any stage, without prejudicing your future treatment.

Occasionally we may diagnose an illness which would better be treated by a different medical colleague. We will always seek your permission before referring you on for further investigations.

Most of the techniques we use are gentle and painless. The nature of your complaint, however, might make you more sensitive to pain and we always value your feedback if you find a particular treatment exacerbates your symptoms.

Some patients experience a ‘treatment reaction’ while their body readjusts to the effects of the treatment. If this has not improved within 48-hours please ring us for further support.

At the start of your first appointment, your osteopath will record information about your medical history and lifestyle, as well as any symptoms you may be experiencing. This is essential in helping them to make an accurate diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment.

Your records will be treated as confidential in accordance with standards of practice set out by the General Osteopathic Council and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

If you wish, you may request a copy of your notes, but you may be charged an administration fee for this.

All osteopaths working in Britain are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council. They are required to successfully complete a Masters in Osteopathy in one of the accredited institutions. This includes over 1000 hours of successful supervised clinical practice.