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.