Most people will experience a headache at some point in their life as they affect 99% of women and 93% of men. Headaches can be caused by numerous things such as hormones, food allergies, drug side effects/ withdrawals, dental problems just to name a few. Osteopaths are trained to detect what may be causing a patients headache and refer if they suspect there may be an underlying cause that is not musculoskeletal in nature.
The most common causes of headaches are arising from the musculoskeletal system; what we call Cervicogenic headaches or tension-type headaches. These headaches arise from tight muscles and irritated nerves/ joints in the neck and shoulders referring or leading to a headache. These kinds of headaches can respond well to manual therapy, and studies now show that we can help headache intensity and/or frequency, reduce medication consumption and improve quality of life.
Osteopaths can also assist with posture and pillow/bedding advice that may be exacerbating the problem, as well as advice on exercises and stretches to help relieve tight muscles that may be associated with headaches.
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