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image of a Young woman is suffering from a headache

All of us have suffered a headache at some point in our lives. Headaches that are recurrent in nature are undeniably debilitating and can affect our overall quality of life.

Despite the prevalence of headache and migraine, the majority of people do not seek medical attention for long-term cases. Most people turn to painkillers and similar medications for treatment, if you take enough and are sensitive this can very easily  then affect other organs like our liver and digestive tract, causing more long term health issues.


What causes headaches?

There is still limited understanding of the ultimate cause of headaches. In most cases though, the mechanical causes of headaches are often ignored even though they are a very common cause.. This includes muscular tension that centres on the neck and shoulder regions and tight joints in your neck, jaw and upper back are common triggers of headaches and migraines. The sudden onset of headache may be a primary symptom of a joint-related condition around the neck region.

Stress and chronic fatigue have also been identified as factors that lead to headache recurrences. When the underlying causes of headaches are not managed properly, the frequency of headaches increase over time.


How does osteopathy treat migraine and headache?

Typically, an osteopathic practitioner will ask a series of questions that initially may seem irrelevant to a patient like you. It is necessary to answer all questions truthfully so that an osteopathy professional can formulate a safe and effective management plan for you. The answers you supply to an osteopathic doctor will also help him determine whether an osteopathic treatment plan will be suitable in your case.


Patients are typically asked about the following things:

  • When the headache started to occur
  • The location of headache pain and other affected regions
  • The quality of pain and daily patterns
  • The severity and duration of headache episodes
  • Potential headache triggers
  • Specific movements that may aggravate the headache
  • Any other symptoms that may accompany headache and migraine such as vision changes and stiff neck to name a few.


Traditional diagnostic procedures such as neurological examination and x-ray may also be ordered by an osteopathic physician before they formulate an effective treatment plan for you.

If your headache or migraine is triggered by a musculoskeletal condition, a plan needs to be put in place to manage it.

Some of the most popular forms of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) for headaches and migraines are as follows:


  • Manual therapy has proven to be helpful for chronic headaches and migraines. Potentially even more so than prescription medications such as amitriptyline, and with fewer side effects.
  • Gentle soft tissue massage and manipulation of the neck and upper spinal joints can alleviate a headache.
  • Lymphatic drainage techniques, trigger point therapy, and acupuncture is also promising OMT treatment modalities that provide relief among patients suffering from chronic headaches and migraines.
  •  Stretching exercises may also be recommended by an osteopathic physician as well as recommendations on proper posture for in-home practice.


If you suffer from headaches and want to know if osteopathy can treat your condition do not hesitate to contact us on 03 9663 5450.