Osteopathy and Headaches

Dec 17, 2015 by David Tio Topics: Headaches, Osteopathy

Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints of modern times. However, severe headaches are seldom caused by serious underlying disease.

Headaches arising from the neck is the most common type of headache. Other causes include:

  • eye strain
  • sinus disease
  • neck injury such as whiplash
  • tension headache from stress, poor posture, etc
  • migraines
  • jaw mis-alignment (following dental work)

More serious causes may include:

  • infection
  • hemorrhage
  • brain tumor

Osteopaths, as primary health care practitioners, are trained to differentiate between headaches due to common causes and those due to serious pathology.

Tension headaches

Many people with headache feel an increase in the muscular tension at the base of the skull with pain locally, and possibly extending to the forehead and eye area. The tightened muscles and joint restrictions – from poor posture, stress, injury, etc – contribute to reduced mobility and irritation of the local nerves and blood vessels.

How does Osteopathy help?

An osteopath is a primary health care practitioner with appropriate skill and knowledge to assist your complaint and decide the most effective course of treatment.

Osteopaths assess structural changes that may lead to immobility and dysfunction. They do thorough physical examination, including observation and palpation, to form a diagnosis.

An osteopath will work gently with your body to:

  • improve joint mobility, especially in the cervical spine
  • reduce muscular tension
  • reduce nerve irritation
  • improve blood supply and drainage to and from the neck
  • help prevent future headaches with advice on posture, exercises and stretching
  • advice on improved ergonomic environment