Osteopathy can help migraines

By Dr Guy Ashburner | March 3, 2014

Osteopathy can help migraines

osteopathy can help with migrainesA Migraine is a painful and sometimes disabling headache, which typically effects one side of the head and can be accompanied by a sensory warning sign (aura) via the sympathetic nervous system that may include increased sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, blurred vision and tingling in the arms and legs, which can last from two hours to four days. If preceded with an aura then the migraine is known as a “classic migraine”, if not then it is usually a “common migraine”.

A migraine headache is caused by dramatic changes in the blood vessels in the neck that supply blood to the brain. Dysfunctional signals from both nerves and hormones/chemicals force these vessels to contract and then dilate much wider than normal forcing blood into the head faster than it can drain out, resulting in increased pressure in the head, a release of certain chemicals and severe pain.

Even though migraine causes are thought to be of a vascular mechanism, mechanical problems (prolonged muscle and fascial tension affecting the joints of your neck will contribute to causing a headache as well as over stimulating your nervous system which in turn may be causing or contributory factor in migraines. Movement of blood and lymph also become restricted. Poor circulation affects oxygen delivery to the brain and prevents waste product removal – this also creates pain and discomfort.

The majority of headaches are caused by tension and poor posture, osteopathy is ideally placed to provide treatment and relief in these areas. An Osteopath will be able to identify reduced mobility in the joints of your spine. Helping to improve spinal movement and decrease muscle tension may help the pain of a migraine. Osteopaths are trained to diagnose the cause of your headache.

In some cases you may need to be referred elsewhere for medical profession intervention.

Osteopathy can help migraine also deal with many contributory factors (e.g. avoidance of certain foods and maintenance of a regular sleep pattern).

Pain killing drugs used to treat the headache may not deal with the cause and so may not bring the improvement that Osteopathy can offer.


View a list of common complains that Osteopathy can assist with

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