Headaches are one of the most common health related conditions in Australia, with around 15% of us taking painkillers for a headache at any given time. Most of us will experience a headache during our lifetime.
Neck pain and headaches often go hand in hand. Stress, trauma, poor posture, heavy lifting and sinus problems are some common triggers that lead to tension in the neck and shoulders. Often patients will describe tenderness and restriction in the neck muscles, under the base of the skull and sometimes in the forehead, jaw and face.
Ongoing muscle and joint tightness restricts nerves, blood and lymphatic flow. This poor circulation prevents the transport of oxygen delivery and the removal of waste products, which then creates more pain and discomfort.
Staff at Wollongong Osteopathy will identify and diagnose areas of dysfunction within your body that may be causing your neck pain or headache. It is important that we understand what type of headache you experience in order to devise the best treatment plan.
Osteopaths are trained to differentiate between headaches with common causes and those caused by serious pathology. We have the skills and knowledge to assess your complaint and decide on the most effective course of action for you.
Our osteopaths will perform a thorough evaluation, including physical examination, observation, and sometimes require imaging such as X-ray or MRI, to form a diagnosis. We will also refer you to your GP if required for further assessment and testing.
After determining all the factors that are contributing to the symptoms, your osteopath will provide a variety of manual techniques, aiming to:
- Enhance your general mobility
- Reduce muscular tension, nerve compression and inflammation
- Improve mobility throughout your chest, middle back and neck regions
- Increase blood supply and drainage to and from the head and neck to prevent congestion and pressure.
To improve headache symptoms and prevent a recurrence, your osteopath may also provide advice on:
- Posture, exercise and stretching
- Diet and hydration
- Improving the ergonomics of your home and workplace