Australia has an estimated 6.4 million migraine sufferers and that number continues to grow every year. Migraine cases total $40 billion annually in economic costs for Australia. Sadly, conventional medicine is ineffective for the majority of them.
Thankfully, there are natural methods for easily regaining your health and reducing pain without medication. Osteopathy is one of these treatments that has been in existence for nearly a century. Osteopaths are considered experts in dealing with these types of ailments. If you suffer from chronic headaches or migraines, this holistic approach may give you a new lease on life!
Common types of headaches:
Pain is described as pressing, tightening, or feeling like a band around the head. Tension headaches usually affect both sides of the head at once.
The pain is usually located around the eyes and forehead, but it can also radiate below the nose. Sinus headaches are due to trapped mucus from congestion.
Pain is often described as throbbing or pulsating in one particular location. Migraine headaches usually affect only one side of the head at a time and are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light.
The pain is often located near the neck, scalp, or forehead. Cervicogenic headache originates from a cervical problem.
Cranial neuralgia headache
The pain is sharp or electrical in nature, often affecting one of the branches of the trigeminal nerve. The pain can be extremely intense and even disabling.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) headache
The pain is felt in the jaw, behind and below the ear, or along the side of the head. The pain can be quite intense and spread to one or both sides of the head.
Factors that cause headaches and migraines
Aside from having a medical condition, triggers for headaches can vary from person to person. There are many causes of headaches, including lack of sleep or poor sleep posture, fatigue, pollen, stress, poor posture, changes in climate such as altitude, heat or humidity, caffeine withdrawal, inadequate nutrition, hunger, food additives, and of course, excess alcohol consumption.
Chemical exposure may also cause headaches, along with bright lights, oestrogen changes in women, taking prescription medications, smoking and even certain smells.
Assessment of headaches and migraines by an osteopath
An assessment by an osteopath can help to identify possible underlying causes of why headaches or migraines occur so that these can be addressed. Headaches and migraines are most commonly caused by muscle tension in the neck (cervical region).
Osteopaths sometimes use ultrasonography (ultrasound scanning) to examine key areas of the head and neck to help find the cause of headaches or migraines. This can sometimes prevent the need for surgical treatment and allows osteopaths to tailor their treatment accordingly.
The diagnosis is based on a close examination, palpitation of the cervical region, consideration of the patient's symptoms, and medical history.
How does osteopathy relieve headache and migraine pain?
Osteopathic treatment consists mainly of manual therapy, which helps to release tension in the muscles surrounding the neck vertebrae. Osteopaths also use other techniques such as remedial massage therapies, exercise physiology, and cranial osteopathy. This combination of treatments can be very effective in relieving pain, improving posture and mobility.
Is Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) effective for headaches and migraines?
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) is a feasible alternative for patients who either do not wish to use pharmaceuticals or who have contraindications to pharmaceuticals.
OMT is a form of manual therapy that encompasses the use of both somatic and autonomic techniques. The aim is to improve function, increase range of motion and decrease pain.
Research also proves that OMT decreases headache frequency and intensity.
Top 5 benefits of osteopathic treatment for headaches and migraines
- An osteopath can treat headaches and migraines from a musculoskeletal viewpoint.
- It is possible to resolve the pain quite quickly when treating postural imbalances through exercise, massage, and corrective osteopathic techniques.
- Osteopathic treatments are also non-invasive with little to no side effects and therefore no recovery time is required.
- Osteopathic medicine is delivered by experienced and licensed physicians tailored to meet the needs of each individual patient.
- The osteopathic treatment for headaches addresses the cause rather than the symptoms and, in this way, can prevent it from occurring again.
Osteopathy is not just for relieving back pain or helping people with arthritis. In fact, some of the most common reasons why patients seek out osteopathic services include migraines and tension headaches. Osteopathic treatments utilize a specific technique to effectively decrease the amount of pain and frequency of headaches. You might be surprised by how effective this is!
When you are suffering from headaches, the last thing you want to do is wait for relief so book your appointment with Foundation Health today!