Headaches are among the common medical conditions, with almost everyone experiencing them occasionally. Some people experience frequent, recurring, or chronic headaches. Headache pain ranges from slight discomfort to debilitating pain, and may last for minutes or days to possibly even months and years.
What Causes Headaches?
The most common cause of headache is cervico-genic headache, which means originating from the neck. The cervical spine—the seven vertebrae of the neck—contributes to a large percentage of headaches. The nerves in the cervical vertebrae are closely associated with the main nerves in the head that are involved with pain. Tight neck muscles and/or joints that are not moving freely lead to congestion and inflammation that can cause headaches. Tense muscles in the neck and head can also release chemicals that may trigger headaches. Other causes may be eye strain, sinusitis, dental or jaw problems, alcohol/medication/dehydration, illness, and very rarely serious medical conditions. It is important to have your headaches comprehensively assessed to determine the nature and type of Headache that you have - there are over 150 different types of headache. Through a thorough evaluation, we are able to identify the cause of your headaches.
Our practitioners are all fully trained to accurately assess, diagnose and treat headache and migraines.
What Types of Headaches Can Be Treated?
Tension headaches are very common, affecting 35 to 40 percent of adults in Western societies. These headaches usually stem from increased muscle tension at the base of the skull or in the neck and shoulders.
Migraines are severe recurrent headaches that are often accompanied by other symptoms, such as visual disturbances or nausea. They affect about 15 percent of the population and are often accompanied by neck pain.
Treatment for headaches usually involves massaging the muscles of the neck and upper spine and/or gentle manipulation of the joints. Osteopathic manipulation techniques for headaches are designed to improve joint mobility, especially in the cervical spine, and to reduce nerve irritation and muscle tension. The goals are to stretch the neck muscles and supporting ligaments, relax muscle spasms, and promote free movement of the musculoskeletal system to improve blood flow and drainage to and from the head and neck. We usually also manipulates the rest of the spine and pelvis to facilitate pain-free movement of the neck and reduce the headache. We may advise the patient on posture, exercise and stretching, diet, stress management, techniques for lifting, and workplace ergonomics to prevent future headaches. You will have a presonlised treatment plan that will give you the best chance of success.
Chronic or recurrent headaches can be readily resolved if all the factors that are contributing to the problem are identified and addressed. This requires a comprehensive examination by an osteopath or physiotherapist with additional training in headache management. Dr Damian Poustie specialises in chronic and recurrent headache/migraine management.
54 year old women with re-occurring headaches over 20 years that were so debilitating that it prevented the patient from being able to leave the bed for 1-2 days at least once per month. Patient had been on long term prescription medication for symptom relief that was not working. A comprehensive examination found that her neck muscles, shoulder muscles and her upper back muscles were chronically in spasm, and that her upper cervical vertebrae was not moving well. This was in turn sensitizing the nervous system and nerves contributing to significant headaches and migraines. Treatment over 6 weeks consisted of addressing the cause of the problem with massage through the whole upper back, shoulders, and neck, trigger point dry needling, and mobilisation of the stiff joints in the neck, back and shoulders. Home exercises were given and advice was also given on posture and correct pillow selection. The Patients headaches significantly reduced in severity and frequency in 6 weeks. Further monthly treatment has eliminated the headaches by 95%, with occassional mild aches that are simply remedied by stretching.
If you have also been told that there is nothing you can do for your headaches or migraines, except to take medication, then it's time for a second opinion.
Call 9481 7794 to book your consultation with Dr Damian Poustie (Osteopath).
Dr Poustie's Personal Guarantee
If after a thorough examination and assessment I believe that your Headache/Migraine condition cannot be helped with treatment, I will recommend an alternative course of action, and there will be no charge for the initial consultation. If I believe I can help you, I will give you a comprehensive treatment plan that will outline the treatment involved and the likelihood of success.