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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