**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.