How can Osteopathy help relieve headaches?

Headaches come in many different forms that most of us are familiar with. To prevent reoccurring headaches from becoming chronic and debilitating it is important to get a diagnosis from a qualified health professional, such as your GP or Osteopath.

Here are just a few examples of the most common types of headache presentations.

    • Tension-Type Headache (TTH): This is the most common type of headache. It may feel a tight aching sensation throughout your head. The tenderness/tightness can travel down the back of your neck, into your temple region or even down into your shoulders. Stress is usually the main trigger for this type of headache.
    • Cervicogenic Headache: This type of headache has a secondary cause, usually in the neck or shoulders. It is a referred pain from somewhere else in the body, such as a tight muscle or inflamed joint through the neck. It is sometimes referred to as a ‘trigger point’. This type of headache usually presents with a restricted range of motion, muscle spasms through the neck, shoulders and jaw, and a shooting pain towards the base of the skull.
    • Cluster Headache: These can be quite excruciating and as the name suggests, often appear in clusters – frequent episodes of headache that can last days or even weeks. The pain usually presents behind one eye or side of the face, with excessive tearing and redness of the eye also common. On a positive note, the remission periods can leave you without any headaches or pain for months or even years.
    • Migraine: There are two types of migraines, with and without aura. Migraine presentations are usually more intense compared to the headaches above. They can include a pulsating sensation deep within your head that may last for hours or even days. Migraines usually affect one side of the head, cause sensitivity to light and may also include nausea and vomiting. The aura can involve tingling in one side of the face or down the arm. Your Osteopath can definitely help you manage migraines, however it is also worth discussing them with your GP.


So how can an Osteopath help with your headaches?

After a thorough history and examination, your osteopath in Essendon can develop a treatment plan specifically designed to help manage your headaches. This plan could include any of the following:

  • Manual therapy such as releasing tight muscles (or trigger points) and improving mobility through the joints of your head, neck and jaw through some manipulation and articulation techniques.
  • Exercise rehabilitation including simple stretches or strengthening exercises to help strengthen the muscles around your head, neck, and shoulders.
  • Lifestyle advice that can assist in managing stress levels, your work/life balance and preventing any aggravating causes of your headaches (diet/exercise/stress).

If headaches are getting in the way of your enjoyment of life, productivity at work or concentration, then get in touch with your Osteopath or GP to see what can be done to help you manage the symptoms or address the cause.

Also check this article: Dry needling for headaches