Ritu Kaushik, Registered Manual Osteopathic Practitioner
Many headaches occur due to muscle tension and joint restriction.Osteopathy can help relieve pain through gentle manipulation of the muscles and joints in your neck and spine, as well as other areas that might be contributing to the problem. These include the upper back and shoulders.
By correcting alignment and restoring mobility in the spine and joints, osteopathic treatment can decrease the muscular tension, increase blood flow and reduce nerve irritation, resolving headaches long term.
Headaches caused by injury
If you’ve suffered a neck injury, such as whiplash, postural problems, stress and compensatory change, you may be susceptible to cervicogenic headaches, which are commonly caused by restrictions in the neck and back joints.
Oftentimes, the nerves that exit the spinal column can become irritated, which causes pain in the base of the skull, top of the head and behind the eyes. For cervicogenic headaches in particular, spinal manipulation has been proven to have a better effect on headaches than massage.
Headaches caused by poor posture
If your headaches are related to postural problems, your osteopathic manual practitioner will offer recommendations for posture, including simple at-home exercises to ease discomfort and advice on how best to set-up your workstation.
If your headaches are regular, try keeping a headache diary that covers the symptoms, frequency and pain level, to help you and your osteopathic practitioner identify any triggers.
As your healthcare practitioner, manual osteopaths are trained to differentiate between commonly caused headaches and those related to serious pathology and will refer you to your Medical Doctor if there are any suspected pathologies or if you’re not improving with treatment.
If you experience headaches, especially if you’ve recently suffered a head trauma or a headache gradually worsens, consider osteopathic manual therapy or access care from another healthcare professional to find a lasting solution.