Migraine and headache affect around 3 million and 7 million Australians respectively. A combined total of 10 million Australians suffer from some form of headache.
Migraine and headache can present in a number of different ways and in varying intensities. Migraine headache is typically a debilitating type pain and is usually unilateral and accompanied by nausea, vomiting, visual aura and light sensitivity. Migraine sufferers will usually identify a clear difference between a headache and a migraine as they may have a long personal or family history of the condition. Tension type headaches and other headaches which originate from mechanical or muscular origins may present with a dull ache type pain with a hat band distribution or pain at the base of the occiput or behind the eyes.
Migraines and tension headaches share a number of triggers or causes which commonly contribute to their manifestation. Either can be caused by a number of controllable and uncontrollable factors including poor posture at work, home and when driving; prolonged sedentary posture and computer-based work; overuse and stress; anxiety and fatigue; emotional upsets, and depression. Migraines differ slightly in that triggers can be sensory and/or diet related, such as strong smells or particular foods.
The most effective forms of management for migraine and headaches can be pharmaceutical pain or regulatory medication and provide much needed relief to those who suffer from these conditions. Our clinical approach to headaches can be applied in conjunction to these medications and involves the combination of mobility exercises for the cervical and thoracic spines to reduce the mechanical and postural factors contributing to headaches.
We will then focus on specific muscle activation of the deep cervical neck flexors which stabilise the neck and reduce mechanical strain on the posterior neck muscles contributing to neck pain which leads to headaches. Further to this we will also encourage scapular mobility to influence the connection between the scapular and the upper cervical spine. This approach provides an increase in blood flow and neurological stimulation to the painful areas while encouraging the positive affects exercise has on pain perception and stress.
At Complete Health, our Osteopaths work with our patients to tailor and prescribe clinica exercises specifically to each patient’s needs. Our focus will change depending on the nature and area of pain to most affectively address the origins of the pain. We will also recommend osteopathic treatment in cases where the pain persists.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic if you would like any more information on the management of musculoskeletal conditions. We would love to give you more information about what works for us.
By Dr Thomas Peasley (Osteopath)Leave a reply →