Approximately half the population suffers from headaches at some point during their life. Most people would just reach for the drugs. But medication is just a short term bandaid. A heat pack maybe? That dull ache is back in an hour. Just sleep it off? That can be a lottery.
To truly beat your headaches for both immediate relief and in the long run you need to attack the root cause of the headache.
There are many triggers for all the different types of headaches. Stress, fatigue, neck dysfunction, jaw tension, hydration, sleeping position, posture all contribute in their own way to the all too familiar throbbing, aching, and pressure that just builds and builds...All these factors effect the physical structures of the head, neck and shoulders. Muscles, bones, joints, sinuses, blood vessels, ears and eyes can become tense, inflamed and contribute to headaches. What can you do about it?
Step one is getting assessed so you know what is driving the headache.
Our Osteopaths are trained to assess static and dynamic posture, muscular tension, joint function and can even assist with sinus and lymph drainage.
Step two is intervention. Whether it is a new pillow, a strengthening program or something as simple as deep tissue massage to break the cycle of tension and pain. Your health professional will be able to help you with these.
A lot of people don't know that osteopathy and personalised clinical exercise programming can reduce the frequency and severity of most types of headaches. Through massage, counterstrain muscle releases, dry needling, articulation and manipulation therapy Osteopaths are perfectly skilled to break the vicious cycle of tension and pain.
Step Three is subtle lifestyle manipulation.
These are the 1-2% things that can really add up for the positive or the negative across a day, week or lifetime. Some of the most important ones to be thinking about:
- Drinking more water and less caffeine
- Setting up your desk like a champion (if your work is a bit desk-y)
- Noticing your work habits (if your work is a bit physical-y)
- Stretching and strengthening your upper body and core muscles (and everything else too)
You don't have to make any radical changes, just subtle tweaks and adjustments can help more than you would think.To book an osteopathy appointment or join our clinical exercise classes, click here.
References: WHO ’17