How osteopathy can help ease headaches

Headaches are a nuisance that most of us experience at one time. They can vary in intensity and location, caused by factors such as tense muscles, sinus problems, high blood pressure and periods. Very rarely they are the result of more serious conditions, but the majority occur due to tension or migraine.

Different types of headaches:

Tension – also known as cervicogenic headaches because they radiate from the cervical spine region. They often feel like a tight band of discomfort around the head caused by tension in the neck which can come as a result of stress or postural fatigue.

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Cluster – these can be brief or last for several hours and present as acute pain around one eye. This can be accompanied by redness, teary eyes and a runny nose.

Migraines – these unpleasant headaches are believed to be neurological or vascular in origin. They can come with bad pain on one side of the head and a throbbing sensation made worse by movement. The first sign of a migraine can include visual disturbances and an aversion to light. Migraines can be triggered by caffeine, alcohol, cheese, travel and chocolate.

Sinus – any infection that causes the sinuses to become inflamed can cause pressure to build up on the facial nerves. This can leave a pain experienced between the eyes and on either side of the nose.

Those who suffer with persistent and painful headaches can find it helpful to identify the causes and aggravating triggers. Osteopathy also offers a way to treat the pain and muscle tension experienced by sufferers. Massaging the soft tissue, using joint releasing techniques and acupuncture methods can often give great relief from headache symptoms. Soft tissue massage of the neck will also relieve the spasms causing tension headaches. For recommended cheltenham osteopaths, visit

A technique known as occipital decompression is performed by using fingertips to stretch soft tissues on the bone at the top of your neck on the back. The technique can be shown to sufferers of migraines to use at home and it has a high success at treating the symptoms of migraines.

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Osteopathy includes another technique called myofascial unwinding that is effective in unwinding soft tissues locked in spasm.

Spinal manipulation is a further method to help relieve tension in muscles by creating little joint releases. This helps the spine to move better and reduces pain levels. Spinal manipulative therapy is a large part of the practice of osteopathy and has consistently been shown to offer relief from headache pain.

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