Headaches are a common complaint, with around 95% of the population experiencing them at some point in their life and nearly half suffering a significant headache at least once a year. Common treatments include over the counter medications, hydration and rest, but osteopathy can also help to relieve many types of headache.
There are over 200 different types of headaches, however the three most common, that are responsible for over 90% of reported headaches are:
The tension headache is the most common with 60-80% of the population affected and tend to be associated with mental stress and/or postural tension. Sufferers experience a pressure or tightness on both sides of their head.
Migraines can often be triggered by problems with the upper neck and account for about 15% of reported headaches. Chronic recurrent migraines can be very debilitating. Women are twice as likely to suffer from migraines as men.
Cervicogenic headaches are a type of secondary headache as they are caused by a pre-existing condition. They occur when pain from the neck is referred into the head, and often occur on one side of the head or neck and can cause pain around the eyes.
There is a common theme when we look at the cause of many types of headaches. Although the pain is experienced in the sufferer’s head, it is often a bio-mechanical issue somewhere else in the body that is the underlying cause, and this is where osteopathy can help.
Osteopathy uses palpation, manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, and help relieve muscle tension. This enhances blood and nerve supply to tissues, helping your body’s own healing mechanisms. While over-the-counter medications may help relieve the symptoms, osteopathy looks to address the cause of the headache, and correct the underlying musculoskeletal problem.