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246 Bridge Rd

Richmond 3121

03 9427 8848

HEADACHES & MIGRAINES EXPLAINED

Chronic headaches & migraines are complex conditions, which may be triggered by many factors, including diet, hormones, sleep, nutritional deficiencies, neck pain, jaw pain, mental health & exercise.


MIGRAINE IS NOT JUST A BAD HEADACHE


Migraine is not just a headache. Over 5 million Australians live with migraine, affecting 1 in 10 men & 1 in 3 women.

Working-aged women are the most significantly affected, with up to 45% of women aged 25 to 45 experiencing migraine attacks.


A migraine attack can last for days, weeks or even months. There are many types of migraine with a range of presentations.


COMMON TYPES OF HEADACHE & MIGRAINE SEEN BY OSTEOPATHS


· Tension-type headache

· Chronic daily headache

· Migraine with aura

· Migraine without aura



Woman with migraine

CLINICAL CONSULTATION WITH AN OSTEOPATH


During an initial consultation, your Osteopath will take a thorough case history to find out more about:


· The frequency, intensity & duration of your headache or migraine

· The location of pain & how long you have been experiencing headaches or migraines

· Any medications that you take for your headaches or migraine attacks, as well as any other medications you may be taking

· If you have any known triggers for your headaches or migraine attacks

· General lifestyle questions to work out other potential triggers



AREAS OF THE BODY OSTEOPATHS TREAT TO HELP HEADACHES & MIGRAINE


· The neck

· The shoulders

· Upper back/thoracic spine

· Ribs



Woman with shoulder pain

Osteopath treating patient

OSTEOPATHIC APPROACH


Osteopaths may use a variety of techniques to help manage headaches &/or migraine. These may include but are not limited to:


· Soft-tissue techniques

· Muscle energy techniques

· Mobilisation of joint

· High-Velocity Low-Amplitutde (HVLA) therapy (joint-manipulation)

· Indirect techniques (e.g counterstrain, cranial-sacral technique)

· Rehabilitation exercises


AIMS OF OSTEOPATHIC MANAGEMENT


· Improve your general mobility

· Improve the mobility of your ribs & thoracic (upper back) & cervical (neck) spine

· Reduce muscular tension, nerve compression & inflammation

· Advise on posture, exercise & stretching to help prevent a recurrence of symptoms

· Offer guidance on diet, nutritional supplements& preventing dehydration

· Advise on improving the ergonomics of your home or workplace



Office worker with headache

Osteopath

EXPECTED OUTCOMES


Patient results do vary, depending on how long you have been experiencing symptoms. Some people may progress quicker or slower than average. However, generally, you would expect to see some changes/improvement over the course of a 3-month period for a chronic condition, following weekly treatments.


During this time, you would expect that your symptoms would be gradually improving in terms of intensity, frequency, duration & response to medication.



Article originally published on the Osteopathy Australia website at www.osteopathy.org.au

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