Headaches

You are incredibly likely to have had a headache at some point in your life. In fact, the statistics show that 96% of the population have suffered from some form of headache, 4 out of 5 have had a “tension type” headache, with 1 in 7 suffering from a migraine. Fortunately, over 99% of headaches that people go to A&E with turn out not to have a sinister cause. That is obviously good news and is why the practitioners at Osteo and Physio can help you.

We tend to see 2 groups of headache patients in the practice, those that come in because of their headaches and those that have developed headaches as a result of a problem elsewhere. Due to the sometimes vague nature and multiple causes of headaches it is extremely important for us to make an accurate diagnosis identifying the cause of the pain. We do this by taking a comprehensive medical and general health case history and to spend time understanding the patient and their lifestyle so we can identify any other stress that may be contributing to the symptoms.

The stress factors that commonly predispose headaches in our patients include:

Posture

How you stand, walk and sit all affect the muscular balance around your spine. We are constantly fighting gravity and certain postures (such as being sat at a desk staring at a computer) are often responsible for contributing to headaches.

Diet

Too much sugar in a meal leads to a surge in insulin production as the body tries to get the excess sugar out of the blood and into your cells (too much sugar is toxic to the body). This heightened insulin response can then lead to a “low” as the blood sugar levels crash and you become hypoglycaemic. This hypoglycaemia has been shown to lead to vasoconstriction (contraction) in the small blood vessels in the brain and is thought to be partly responsible for headaches and migraine type symptoms.

Hydration

Most people do not drink enough water during the day and night to remain hydrated. It is thought that a similar vasoconstriction of the blood vessels in the brain causes the headache symptoms.

Our Treatments

The good news is that there is peer reviewed evidence to show that osteopathic techniques are safe and effective in the treatment of “cervicogenic” (those that are caused by neck tension) headaches and migraines.

At Osteo and Physio we employ an holistic approach to anyone coming to the practice in pain and our goal is to treat the cause to reduce symptoms as quickly and effectively as possible. We supplement the treatment with functional exercises to stretch and / or strengthen muscle groups around the spine helping to create better muscular balance that improves posture not just after a treatment but in the long term.

If you have been suffering from an increase in headaches recently whether they be a mild discomfort or you have put up with migraines intermittently for years we have the medical knowledge and confidence to provide you with a diagnosis and treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms or give you best advice as to how to proceed if we feel we cannot help.