• Bronwyn La Brooy

Can osteopathy help headaches?

Updated: Aug 8, 2020

Wondering if osteopathy can help headaches and migraines? Osteopathy treatment can help ease the pain of headache and migraine symptoms.


Headaches; whilst having varying causing factors and triggers, may come from postural changes in the upper back pain and neck pain causing tension in those muscles.


Our culture tends to be very wired, stressed out and we predominantly sit – at the desk, on the train, driving or chilling out on the couch when we get home.  Stress can also present into the body as a shoulder shrug, leaving those shoulder muscles tight.


Chronic sitting and slouching can “turn off” our deep postural muscles.  Our head is pretty heavy.  Not only is it full of brains, but it weighs around 5-6kg!  Our upper neck and back muscles are working pretty hard to hold it up, especially when those postural muscles are taking a break.  This can result in the joints in the neck being compressed and giving off a pain pattern to the head.  It can also result in trigger points in those neck and shoulder muscles – hyperirritable points in skeletal muscle that can give referred pain into the head and neck, resulting in a headache.  These types of headaches are referred to as “cervicogenic” headaches – as they begin from the cervical spine (neck) and radiate to the base of the skull to around the eyes.


Migraines can be caused by many things, and range from moderate to severe, can be hormonal or run in the family.   Migraines are a result of blood flow changes and can present with or without aura – vision changes, nausea, dizziness.  They can be debilitating and affect your work and social life.


Osteopathy works to correct any dysfunctions in the upper back and neck, releasing off any trigger points in the shoulders and head, increasing range of motion to these segments and reducing muscle spasm.  We look at the whole picture – why the headaches are reoccurring, is there a pattern or lifestyle factor involved, and then tailoring the treatment as to how we can relieve this pressure.


Come see your local Burwood Osteopath at Burwood Osteo & Rehab for expert advice.


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Osteopathy is a safe and effective form of manual therapy which focuses on the treatment of your muscles, joints, nerves and restores the body to "balance."

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