Headaches & Migraines in London
What are headaches & migraines?
According to the British Association for the Study of Headache (BASH), headaches are a problem likely to affect up to 40% of the UK population at some point in their lives; they are one of the most common symptoms that general practitioners, specialist clinics and complementary clinics such as osteopathy clinics come across. The highest incidence of headaches are tension types and neck related but there are many types of headaches, with various causes and overlapping symptoms. Other types of headaches include vascular (migraine and cluster headaches), tension (muscular contraction), cervicogenic (referred pain from the structures of the neck), pressure and inflammatory (from tumour or infection), cranial neuralgia (facial pain or TMJ) and eye strain, sinus congestion, dehydration or premenstrual syndrome. Headaches can vary in degrees of severity and intensity and can impact our lives. However, most headaches are not serious and for many sufferers it’s about reducing whatever is causing and aggravating the headaches once this has been established. Osteopathic treatment can be invaluable in helping reduce headaches, the associated pain and muscle-skeletal experienced by headaches and migraine sufferers.
How does osteopathy help?
Osteopathy is a system of diagnosing and treating medical conditions that focus on the structure and the functioning of the whole body. It’s based on the idea that your overall health and wellbeing depend on your musclo-skeletal system (bones, muscles, ligaments and soft connective tissues) all working together coherently and inter-related rather than addressing a specific illness or symptom. Osteopaths are trained professionals who focus on detecting, treating and preventing health problems mainly by using joint movement, mobilisation, stretching and massage.
Many people choose osteopathy because the treatment does not require medication and is considered a more natural approach than conventional medicine. Osteopathy addresses the underlying cause whereas taking medications for pain relief only helps by masking the symptoms. Part of the treatment can be to offer management strategies for your condition and advice to prevent your problems from returning. There are a number of things you can do to help yourself at home and so your osteopathy appointment may also involve teaching you about posture, movement habits, gentle stretching and strengthening exercises and using techniques such as hydrotherapy (hot and cold packs) with the aim to minimize recurrence and to give you the tools to manage any relapses more independently incase they did occur. Most headaches are caused by musculoskeletal tension and/or postural issues which can be successfully treated by an osteopath but sometimes an osteopath may need to refer you to your GP for further tests or scans.
What will happen during the appointment?
During your initial consultation we will take time to discuss your case history, how the headaches are affecting your life, how long you’ve had them and look at your lifestyle as well as conducting a thorough physical examination analysing your structure to ensure an accurate diagnosis as well as identifying the cause of your headaches. Each person experiences headaches differently so our osteopathic treatment and management plans are personalised and tailored to the individual and their own unique symptoms. The key treatment involves a variety of techniques including cranial osteopathy, simple soft tissue massage to alleviate spasmed or tight muscles, articulation, stretching, traction, pressure techniques, mobilisation techniques, and gentle spinal manipulation where appropriate to relieve the restriction of joints’ movement and relax the muscles around them. The treatment aims to eradicate pain from the area, restore normal function, improve the range of motion in the area, return full strength and help the body to heal naturally to resolve the problem. Your osteopath will also address any other problems such as elbow, neck, leg or upper back pain.
If you are experiencing headaches or migraines then please book in to see us for advice, exercise prescription and osteopathic treatment.
If you think you might suffer from headaches or migraines and would like help please do not hesitate to contact us.