According to the NHS, more than 10 million people in the UK get regular headaches, making them one of the most common health complaints. But because headaches are a symptom of so many illnesses, it can be difficult to know their specific cause. 

You might be wondering whether osteopathic treatment can help alleviate the symptoms of your headache. The answer is, it depends on the cause.

There are various types of headache, including:

  • tension
  • cluster
  • migraine
  • Sinus or allergy 
  • Hormonal 
  • caffeine 
  • exertion 
  • hypertension 
  • rebound 
  • post-traumatic 
  • Injuries, muscular and joint-related

How can injuries and muscle problems cause headaches?

A cervicogenic headache (CGH) happens when pain is referred from a specific source in the neck up to the head. This is often felt as a dull ache, but the pain can be intense. This usually occurs through trauma, like a joint fracture, dislocation or whiplash injury. These kinds of headaches can be so severe that they can mimic symptoms of a migraine or a tension headache. 

How can osteopathic treatment help?

Osteopaths help treat cervicogenic headaches by focusing on massage and manipulative techniques to improve cervical mobility and posture. Some of the osteopathic methods used include:

Soft tissue massage

A gentle osteopathic massage may help loosen the joints and muscles of the neck, back and thorax. This helps relieve the build-up of muscular tension that could be leading to headaches. Your osteopath will focus on key pain areas, such as your neck, loosening them so that the pain doesn’t travel up to your head.

Osteopathic joint articulation

By using gentle articulation techniques, an osteopath can encourage joint release and movement, helping to relieve pain. For cervicogenic headaches, focus areas include the mid spine and the neck.

Rehabilitation exercises and advice

Your osteopath will give you the tools you need in your daily life to help reduce the incidence of headaches. Whether that’s specific guidance on posture and beneficial rehab exercises, or lifestyle advice, osteopathy is a holistic treatment.

Is osteopathy effective?

Studies have shown that combining manual therapy like osteopathic treatment alongside an exercise programme, can lead to long-term control of cervicogenic headaches and acute tension headaches. In fact, osteopathy has even been proven to be more effective than amitriptyline for these kinds of headaches.

At Solihull Osteopathic Practice, our expert osteopaths are highly trained health professionals and are expertly placed to help treat cervicogenic headaches and musculoskeletal disorders. 

To start tackling your cervicogenic headaches today, or to speak to us about osteopathic treatment to help your overall health and wellbeing, please call: 0121 705 4499.