Headaches are one of the most common central nervous system disorders. Approximately 50% of adults will experience at least one headache per year, and 1 in 20 adults will experience daily headaches (WHO, 2007 & 2014).
Thankfully, there are many things we can do to manage and avoid headaches.
Techniques to help self-manage headaches
- Ensuring you are well hydrated helps prevent headaches from occurring
- How many coffees are you having per day? Too much caffeine can bring on headaches for some people
- Most people associate increased headaches with increased stress. You can address the stressor directly, or try techniques such as deep breathing and meditation to help decrease the effects of stress on your body
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (eg. Nurofen) can be used to help temporarily manage the pain associated with headaches.
How an Osteopath can help with headaches
- An Osteopath or primary health practitioner has the training to be able to diagnose and manage headaches. While there are many different types of headaches, the two most common are:
- Tension headaches and
- Cervicogenic headaches
- Many common headaches can be resolved quickly, although health practitioners are trained to identify the small percentage of headaches which may be more serious and require immediate attention or referral (NICE, 2015)
- It is important to address the cause of the headache. Osteopaths will address these factors (whether biomechanical or otherwise) to help reduce or resolve the pain. Each treatment is specific to the person’s lifestyle and the type of headache they are presenting with.
- An Osteopath will develop a management plan and treatment schedule in order to best address your headache and help prevent recurrences.
Not sure if an Osteopath can help with your headache? Feel free to speak to one our Osteopaths to see if we can help.
Dr Julia Adams has a special interest in pain and chronic pain management. If you would like to speak with her or to one of our other practitioners about managing headaches or anything else, feel free to ask a question, contact us or email us at:
WHO (2014). World Health Organisation: Headache Disorders. Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/headache-disorders
WHO (2007). Aids for management of common headache disorders in primary care. DOI 10.1007/s10194-007-0366-y
NICE (2015). Headaches in over 12s: diagnosis and management. Retrieved from: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg150