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I have a headache

Headache Osteopathic Treatment

Have you been suffering with headaches recently? Pain across the back of the head and neck, and often into the forehead or behind the eyes, may indicate a tension-type headache – what we commonly refer to as a regular, everyday headache.

 

They are a frequent complaint seen by physical therapists, and are a significant cause of absence and impaired ability at work.

 

Tension headaches are the most common form of headache, which many of us believe is just part of life and ignore on a regular basis. They are part of a group we call primary headaches, along with migraines, which are headaches not caused by an underlying medical condition.

 

What are the symptoms?

 

People commonly experience a ‘band-like’ pressure or tightness around the head, usually on both sides, of mild-moderate intensity. It can often be felt across the top of the neck, into the head, and/or the forehead. They typically last from 30 minutes to several hours, and occasionally they can last several days. Tension headaches come on gradually but don’t tend to be incapacitating – despite how frustrating they are!

People suffering from tension-type headaches may also feel muscle tightness and/or stiffness in the neck, but are unlikely to feel nauseous or experience auras as with migraines – auras may include sensitivity to light or sound, and occasionally blurred vision.

Tension headaches occurring more than 15 days a month are referred to as chronic tension –type headaches.

headache

 

What are the causes?

 

The exact cause of tension headaches is unknown, but there are several triggers that have been identified, including:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Poor posture – when sitting or standing
  • Occupation
  • Squinting/eye strain
  • Tiredness and general fatigue
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Grinding your teeth (bruxism) or jaw pain
  • Sleeping positions/poor sleep
  • Muscle tension in the neck and shoulders

 

Prolonged muscle tension of the head, face, neck and shoulders are contributing factors in tension headaches. This tension often builds up over a period of time, especially when we expose ourselves to the same stresses and poor posture on a daily basis.

 

How can Osteopathy help my headaches?

 

Tension headaches are often relieved by over-the-counter painkillers and/or changes in lifestyle. These may include regular exercise, improving poor posture and finding ways to release excess stresses and tensions in the body. Learning how to identify and deal with stressful situations that may trigger headaches is a useful strategy for many individuals. This may include deep breathing or relaxation techniques, massage, and regular exercise.

 

Osteopathy uses gentle manipulations of the soft tissues and joints within the body to help relieve abnormal tensions that have stored up over time. Practitioners work to reduce muscle pain and encourage better range of motion. Manual therapy combines exercises and advice to improve neck and shoulder muscle tension, and help educate patients on ways to establish better posture both at work and at home.

headache treatment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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