Headaches & Migraines Explained
Chronic headaches and migraines are complex conditions that can be triggered by many factors.
Read on to find out more about them and, how Osteopathy can help you manage episodes.
Acute headaches/migraines vs. Chronic
Acute headaches and/or migraine attacks are infrequent and generally occur due to a specific, often identifiable factor.
Chronic headaches and migraine attacks occur more frequently and may have no identifiable triggers or, alternatively, have many.
Acute headaches and migraines often settle down easily and require less treatment. Meanwhile, chronic headaches and migraine often require a longer treatment plan and more in-depth treatment due to the sensitised system requiring more time to adjust and settle.
A migraine is not just a “bad headache”. Migraine episodes can last for days, weeks or even months, and there are many types of migraine with a range of presentations.
Here are the 4 common types of headaches/migraines Osteopaths treat:
Chronic daily headache
Migraine with aura
Migraine without aura
Factors to consider that may trigger your migraine episodes
- Diet. eg. cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits, alcohol (especially red wine)
- Lack of, or excessive sleep
- Hormones such as oestrogen. eg. changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle
- Physiochemical causes such as too much heat, light, noise or certain chemicals
- Emotional causes, such as stress, excitement or fatigue
- Relaxation (wind down migraine). Generally experienced after a period of stress and overwork
How can Osteopathy help?
Osteopaths aim to reduce muscular tension, nerve compression, inflammation and, improve general mobility in contributing areas of the body, to reduce severity and frequency of your episodes. Depending on how long you have been experiencing them, chronic cases can take several months of regular treatments. Focus areas can include the neck, jaw, shoulders, upper back/thoracic and your ribs. They use a variety of hands-on techniques to help manage headaches and/or migraine.
These may include but are not limited to:
- Soft tissue techniques
- Muscle energy techniques
- Mobilisation of joints
- High-velocity low amplitude (HVLA) therapy (joint cracking)
- Indirect techniques (e.g. counterstrain)
- Rehabilitation exercises
- Advise on posture and the ergonomics of your home & workplace
- Offer general guidance on diet or refer you to our Naturopath Caroline to delve further into dietary triggers & naturopathic remedies
Resource: Osteopathy Australia
If you are experiencing headaches or migraine episodes, then reach out. Speak with someone from the team today or
book your appointment online, by clicking here.