Headaches are one of the most common complaints we see with about half of the adult population suffering from headaches every year (Who.int, 2019).
They can range from mild and annoying to extremely painful and debilitating. They also have a wide range of causes. Stress, illness or a big night out can all cause different types of headaches.
When you see one of our Osteopaths they will try to understand all the contributing factors by asking about your diet, lifestyle, stress levels and your general health.
We will also assess the movement and through your head, neck, jaw, back and shoulders to determine if they might be playing a part.
Here’s a few things that we look for;
Hydration levels- One of the most common causes of headaches is probably the easiest to prevent. Headaches are a very common symptom of dehydration- just think of your last hangover. Proper hydration is needed to make sure lost fluid are replaced and allow the body to function normally. Some common causes of fluid loss are vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive sweating or prolonged heat exposure. So making sure you keep the fluids up if you are ill or have been for a heavy workout can help prevent some headaches.
Headache pattern- Identifying when, where, duration, frequency and intensity of consistent headaches is really important in finding their cause. A really useful way of keeping track of this can be a headache diary which gives us really useful information in treating and identifying headache triggers. Keeping a simple diary on your phone or even using an app can be an easy way to track them.
Jaw tension- Dental work or jaw tension can be a big factor in headaches and your Osteo can help identify if your jaw may be part of the issue. Your Osteo will then determine if a referral for a mouthguard or splint may be necessary to reduce strain on the muscles and help prevent/relieve headaches.
See your Optometrist- If you wear glasses it is important to regularly have them checked to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to. Issues with eyesight can place extra strain on the eyes and can then lead to headaches, especially if you spend long periods reading or looking at a screen. Having regular breaks helps too!
Stress management- Tension related headaches can be caused by stress too. Having ways of managing stress levels can be really helpful in preventing stress from leading to headaches.
If you suffer you suffer from headaches or would like further advice, come and see one of our friendly Osteopaths to see how they can help.
To book an appointment with Damian Click here or call on 95782436
Who.int. (2019). Headache disorders. [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/headache-disorders [Accessed 4 Jul. 2019].