Headaches and the neck
Headaches sometimes have an origin in the neck and this is when osteopathy may help.
In the UK twenty five million school or working days are lost due to headaches each year.
If you have been suffering from nagging, recurring or acute headaches, your neck may well be the primary cause. Sometimes even debilitating migraine attacks may be triggered neck problems. This may be the case even if your neck seems to be pain free.
Osteopaths are well placed to assess and effectively treat neck related headaches.
Pain is often located around the base of the skull and can radiate towards the temple, forehead and eye.
It has been shown that structures in the upper region of the neck can refer pain to the head. Doctors will often diagnose ‘tension headache’ and prescribe painkillers as a remedy. In fact overuse of medication used to treat headaches is in fact a common cause of headaches itself.
There is another approach, which looks to find and treat the cause of the problem rather than treat the symptoms only.
Osteopathy for headaches
This is where Osteopathy may help. Osteopaths will take a case history and then assess neck mobility, soft tissue tension and other potentially problematic areas.
Osteopaths may use a combination of techniques including gentle manipulation of the neck joints, massage, trigger points and stretching to the muscles.
Specific advice on exercising, stretching and posture can then be suggested.
Of course headaches are not always related to problems with your neck. Your osteopath will be very careful with questioning and examination to make sure that they are safely treating the cause. This may even mean that they refer you back to your doctor should they suspect that it is not your neck which is causing your symptoms.