Headache and Migraine
If you experience pounding, chronic migraines or recurrent headaches, you are far from alone. About 4.9 million Australians suffer from migraines. Approximately 7 million experience tension-type headaches*. This can severely impact quality of life. Fortunately, effective treatments are available.
At Brisbane West Osteopathy, we develop treatment plans for relaxing tight muscles and joints in your neck. Our patients often report effective relief from headache and migraine pain after treatment. We believe this is because of our unique approach to diagnosis and treatment. This approach involves carefully assessing the biomechanics of the rest of your body, particularly the pelvis. If your pelvis is asymmetrical, we find this can cause neck dysfunction and headaches. We, therefore, treat your pelvis as well as your neck and jaw.
Neck/cervical spine dysfunction results in many types of headaches because the nerves supplying the head originate in the neck. So when you experience a headache, it’s often in fact, pain referred from your neck. This is like sciatica, which is referred pain from the sciatic nerve in your lower back.
For headache and migraine treatment Brisbane, contact us today.
What Type of Headaches Can We Help With?
At Brisbane West Osteopathy, headaches and migraines are some of the most common complaints we treat. Our unique approach to treatment can assist with many different types of headaches including:
As the name suggests, this headache type is often triggered by your body’s response to stress. However, tension headaches can also be caused by prolonged poor posture or jaw problems. While you can often still function, it may feel like a band of pressure is growing tighter and tighter around your head.
The name simply means this headache originates within the vertebrae, joints or muscles of your neck (the cervical spine). It’s the type of headache you may experience if you sustain whiplash. However many people experience cervicogenic headaches as a result of everyday stressors on the neck. With this type of headache, you may feel neck pain and/or stiffness, plus a constant ache at a precise spot, often behind your eyes.
Common and Classic Migraines
Migraines can be debilitating and are characterised by throbbing pain to one side or part of the head. However, the pain can shift to different sides of the head between episodes. Classical migraine sufferers can experience vision changes (including blurred vision, auras and sensitivity to light or photophobia), nausea and vomiting, dizziness and tinnitus and sometimes even changes in speech and swallowing. With common migraines, you experience pain around one eye without changes in vision or nausea.
One theory about migraines is that they are intimately connected to the vertebral artery. This artery runs up the back of the neck and between the suboccipital muscles. We treat migraines based on the understanding that when these suboccipital muscles tighten excessively, it impacts the vertebral artery. Think of it as like finding a kink in a hose, which slows the flow of water through it. Initially, this ‘kink’ reduces the blood supply to the back of the head. Other blood vessels open up to compensate. This is what causes the pounding headache.
Headaches of this nature are excruciating and tend to manifest suddenly and unexpectedly. It’s not well understood what causes them; however, they have been linked to the trigeminal nerve and hypothalamus. While they have many symptoms in common with migraines, one key symptomatic difference is the way sufferers behave. If you have a migraine, you’ll generally feel the need to lie down and stay still and quiet. If you have a cluster headache, you’ll likely want to pace or fidget**.
This type of headache is the result of pressure on the trigeminal nerve. This can create debilitating pain in your teeth, gums, jaw, lips, and sometimes eyes or forehead. The mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve runs around the mandible bone (jawbone). Changes within the jaw joint and surrounding muscles can impact this nerve, causing trigeminal neuralgia.
This type of headache can create electric-shock feelings in your upper neck. Pain often then radiates into your scalp. This headache type occurs when the occipital nerve in your neck is pinched. Muscle tension at the base of your head can put pressure on the occipital nerve, as can blood vessels.
Our Unique Approach to Headache/Migraine Treatment Brisbane
As osteopaths, we take a holistic approach to treating your headache or migraine pain. We do this by looking for any underlying biomechanical causes. We use a custom system to do this. Our principal osteopath, Dr Joachim Enevoldsen initially developed this system which he named Osteo Diagnostic Platform (ODP). Dr Yana Haseya has since collaborated on this system with him. ODP helps us diagnose and treat the pelvis and neck differently. Think of your pelvis as the foundation of your body. When your pelvis is out of alignment it has a cascading effect through the rest of your body.
While no one treatment will fix everyone, ODP has been used to treat thousands of patients. Many chronic headache and migraine sufferers experience lasting relief after being treated with ODP. These are patients who have often been unresponsive to other treatments.
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