**Written by Dr Helen Frederikson (osteopath)**

According to Migraine and Headache Australia – migraines affect over 4.9 million Australians, and headaches affect even more.  Tension type headaches are the most common affecting over 20% of the worldwide population.

In a significant amount of people their headaches and migraines are the end result of dysfunction in the top three joints in the neck. When the neck has been sitting in a dysfunctional position for long enough, due to things like poor posture or whiplash injuries, the nerves that exit the spine at those levels become hypersensitized and start firing more reactively, resulting in nerve hypersensitivity and irritation. These nerves travel to the brainstem making it hypersensitized and creating a situation where you are just waiting to get a headache or migraine. Hypersensitivity in the brainstem creates all the classic symptoms of headaches and migraines such as pain in the head, face and jaw, light, sound and smell sensitivity, auras, dizziness and nausea.

Traditional treatments of headaches and migraines revolve around medication use. While these medications can be very effective in treating the symptoms of headaches, they don’t address the root cause of the issue. One way of treating the root cause of headaches and migraines is by using the Watson Headache Approach.  This approach is effective in approximately 80% of headache and migraine sufferers. It’s a hands-on approach that focuses on bringing the top 3 joints in the neck into the correct position and enabling them to move efficiently, thereby stopping the nerves at these levels from becoming hypersensitive and reactive. Treatment of chronic headaches and migraines does not end with just identification of dysfunction in the neck, it also relies on identifying risk factors within the gut, mental health, nutritional deficiencies, hormones, fatigue and jaw issues. The Watson Headache Approach combined with general osteopathic treatment and identification and management of other risk factors allows the body to function harmoniously, reducing the pain and disabling effects of headaches and migraines.

If this resonates with you and you want to find out more about what could be causing your headaches and migraines then please get in touch with us at The Osteo Clinic.

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Subacromial impingement syndrome is one of the most common causes for shoulder pain (1). It involves pinching or friction of the tissues within the subacromial space, due to narrowing when the arm or shoulder is put into certain positions. The subacromial space is created by the top of the humerus, the shoulder joint and ligaments, and the acromion which is the top of the shoulder blade. Within the subacromial space is the bicep tendon, rotator cuff and bursa.

Subacromial impingement syndrome can occur due to a number of reasons such as anatomical and mechanical factors, rotator cuff injury, joint instability, imbalance of the muscles that stabilise the shoulder blade and posture (2). It usually presents as shoulder pain with no major trauma involved, which is made worse by lifting the arm or overhead activities (1). There can be a loss of shoulder range of motion and it is usually painful (1).

Recurrence of subacromial impingement syndrome can be common (1) so it’s important to see your osteopath for an assessment. Treatment and rehabilitation is aimed at reducing pain and improving shoulder function through a combination of manual therapy and exercise rehabilitation.

References

1. Senbursa G, Baltacı G, Atay A. Comparison of conservative treatment with and without manual physical therapy for patients with shoulder impingement syndrome: a prospective, randomized clinical trial. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. 2007;15(7):915-921.

2. Lewis J, Green A, Dekel S. The Aetiology of Subacromial Impingement Syndrome. Physiotherapy. 2001;87(9):458-469.

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Headaches and Migraines – what causes them and what can be done to treat them?

June 30, 2022

**Written by Dr Helen Frederikson (osteopath)** According to Migraine and Headache Australia - migraines affect…

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Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common types of arthritis and a major cause of pain and disability in adults. It is a chronic condition that occurs due to the breakdown of the cartilage within a joint. Osteoarthritis affects more than 25% of adults worldwide (Chen et al., 2017). Although it can occur any age, it is most common after the age of 45, and tends to affect women more than men.

Common symptoms are pain and stiffness, particularly in the morning, and limited range of motion that usually improves with movement. It can affect any joint, but most commonly affects the neck, lower back, hips, knees and hands. Winter and changes in weather can often exacerbate symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a very common condition that we see as osteopaths. The goal of treatment is to manage symptoms, increase mobility and improve function and quality of life. Treatment may involve soft tissue, stretching and mobilisation techniques to assist with pain levels, stiffness, range of motion and function. Education and advice about the condition is also provided, as well as some at home exercises which may help.

As we head into winter and the cold weather approaches, if this pain and stiffness sounds familiar to you why not see one of our osteopaths for help. Call us on 9598 5334 or simply book online.

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Headaches and Migraines – what causes them and what can be done to treat them?

June 30, 2022

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Do you suffer from headaches? By Dr Kevin De Waal (Osteopath)

By Eliza Gleadell
May 19, 2019

Almost everybody suffers from a headache from time to time, with the majority resolving without the need for intervention. Some, however, may require a helping hand and this is where osteopathy may help.

Understanding exactly which type of headache you have, or if it is in fact a migraine, is the first step we take. Tension type headaches and migraines are one of the most common forms of head pain. Via taking a thorough history and examination, osteopaths can diagnose what type of headache you may have.

Tension type headaches result from a build up of tension within the neck and shoulders and commonly present like a halo compressing the top of the head. Treating the muscle tension, improving posture, dealing with trigger points within the muscles and mobilising stiff joints may all contribute to the resolution of your tension headache.

Cervicogenic headaches are also a common presentation to osteopaths. They can be the result of inflammation and irritation of the upper joints within the neck. This causes pain under the base of the skull, often also referring over the top of the head or around the eye. Treating the affected joints and tight muscles through joint manipulation, soft tissue massage and even dry needling can bring about the resolution of this type of headache.

Migraines can be debilitating, and are considered more complex in origin than a standard ‘headache’. Migraines often are accompanied by nausea, visual aura, vomiting, or dizziness; and usually occur on only one side of the head or neck. Osteopaths can work with both you and your GP to develop the most effective management plan to deal with your migraines.

So next time you develop a pesky headache that you can’t shake, consider coming in to see one of our osteopaths to see if we can help.

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Related posts

Headaches and Migraines – what causes them and what can be done to treat them?

June 30, 2022

**Written by Dr Helen Frederikson (osteopath)** According to Migraine and Headache Australia - migraines affect…

Read more on Headaches and Migraines – what causes them and what can be done to treat them?