Treatment for headaches or migraines
There are a lot of different types of headaches, and a lot of different causes for them. Some of those causes can be quite serious; most are not, but recurrent headaches can still be deeply unpleasant, and can make a huge difference to your quality of life.
Some examples of the things that can give you headaches are:
1) unrecognised inflammation in your sinuses;
2) restrictions lower in your back, resulting in holding your neck in a compensatory position for a long time;
3) restrictions in your neck that are unrelated to restrictions elsewhere in your spine;
4) tightness in the muscles at the base of the head, from spending too long leaning forward looking at a computer screen;
5) tightness in the top of your shoulders from hunching your arms for too long while working on a computer;
6) eye strain;
7) biochemical issues, such as hunger (a lack of glucose in your system, caffeine withdrawal or
hormonal changes; and
8) many other things.
There is often, although not always, a stress-related component, which may feed into the abnormal patterns of muscle tension.
Migraines are usually probably the result of a disruption of the blood flow to the brain. We find that, clinically, they seem to be headaches caused by a whole set of factors, any one of which will give you a headache. Unfortunately they aren’t all the same things with different people; the causes of migraines are typically quite specific to individual people. This is probably why there has been no one drug which is suitable for everyone. Some people find that they can take a particular combination of things which works. Others find that there is one particular drug, which makes them sleep for a long time, by which time the headache has passed. Some find that they can sleep off a migraine, while others find that it lasts for days, no matter what they do.
Whatever the cause, though, headaches are one of the things that I treat most frequently. There is a lot of clinical evidence to support seeing and osteopath to have your headaches and migraines treated. I will look for the cause, in order to help you to stay well, as well as treating the symptoms. (See references below.)
References for treatment for migraines and other headaches by an osteopath:
Arnadottir TS, Sigurdardottir AK 2013 Is craniosacral therapy effective for migraine? Tested with HIT-6 Questionnaire. Complement Ther Clin Pract Feb;19(1):11-4
Barke L, Gelman S, Lipton JA 1997 A successful use of cranial-sacral osteopathy in the treatment of post-traumatic headache following subarachnoid hemorrhage AAO Journal Summer, 22-23
Boline PD, Kassak K, Bronfort G, Nelson C, Anderson AV 1995 Spinal manipulation vs. amitriptyline for the treatment of chronic tension-type headaches: a randomized clinical trial J Manipulative Physiol Ther 18:148–54
Bronfort G, Assendelft WJ, Evans R, Haas M, Bouter L 2001 Efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic headache: a systematic review. J Manipulative Physiol Ther Sep;24(7):457-66
Cerritelli F, Caprari E, Vincenzo MD, Ginevri LR, Messi G, Renzetti C, Cozzolino V, Frattesi C, Barlafante G, Foschi N, 2013 Is osteopathic manipulative treatment effective in migraine?International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine March Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages·e1–e2
Cerritelli F, Ginevri L, Messi G, Caprari E, Di Vincenzo M, Renzetti C, Cozzolino V, Barlafante G, Foschi N, Provinciali L. 2015 Clinical effectiveness of osteopathic treatment in chronic migraine: 3-Armed randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Med Apr;23(2):149-56
Grimshaw DN 2001 Cervicogenic headache: manual and manipulative therapies. Curr Pain Headache Rep Aug;5(4):369-75
Hanten WP, Olson SL, Hodson JL, Imler VL, Knab VM, Magee JL 1999 The effectiveness of CV-4 and resting position techniques on subjects with tension-type headaches J Man Manip Ther 7(2) 64-70
Harrison RE, Page JS 2011 Multipractitioner Upledger CranioSacral Therapy: descriptive outcome study 2007-2008. J Altern Complement Med Jan;17(1):13-7
Hoyt WH, Shaffer F, Bard DA, Benesler JS, Blankenhorn GD, Gray JH, Hartman WT, Hughes LC. 1979 Osteopathic manipulation in the treatment of muscle-contraction headache. J Am Osteopath Assoc Jan;78(5):322-5
Longo C, Rizzo R, Inzitari MT, Scumaci G, Caroleo S, Iocco M. 2006 Chronic tension-type headache non conventional therapy with manual lymphatic drainage. Recenti Prog Med Sep;97(9):462-5.
Rolle G, Tremolizzo L, Somalvico F, Ferrarese C, Bressan LC 2014 Pilot trial of osteopathic manipulative therapy for patients with frequent episodic tension-type headache. J Am Osteopath Assoc Sep;114(9):678-85
Schabert E, Crow WT. 2009 Impact of osteopathic manipulative treatment on cost of care for patients with migraine headache: a retrospective review of patient records. J Am Osteopath Assoc Aug;109(8):403-7
Schoensee SK, Jensen G, Nicholson G, Gossman M, Katholi C. 1995 The effect of mobilization on cervical headaches. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther Apr;21(4):184-96
Voigt K, Liebnitzky J, Burmeister U, Sihvonen-Riemenschneider H, Beck M, Voigt R, Bergmann A, 2011 Efficacy of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment of Female Patients with Migraine: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine March 17(3): 225-230