There are many types of headaches that osteopathy can help with. Cervicogenic (neck based) headaches are a very common complaint of patients who come into the practice. The pain typically begins at the back of the head radiating to the forehead with associated neck tenderness, caused by referral from bony, muscular, blood vessels or nerve structures of the neck.
Headaches can occur for many reasons such as stress, whiplash injury, trauma playing a sport and even postural strain due to poor ergonomic set up at work. There are two main indicators for this type of headache, increased tenderness just below the skull and an increase of pain caused by neck or head movements.
Our osteopaths will evaluate the condition by taking a full case history and examining the neck to establish if there is a problem that can be helped or whether there is need for further investigation.
For example an office worker who had debilitating headaches came to see us. He described the pain beginning at the top of his neck and spreading to his forehead and behind his eyes. It transpired that he had had a car accident years ago and the back of his head struck the headrest of his seat. The headaches had slowly progressed over time to the point where he had to take pain killers and have time off work.
After we had done all the routine tests, we examined his neck and found the area just between the skull and the neck acutely tender. It took several treatments stretching the soft tissues and the joints in the neck before the headaches resolved.
Fortunately the majority of patients’ headaches presenting to the practice are treatable and there often is a solution for this debilitating condition.