Headaches and osteopathy

It is possible to get relief from headaches without having to take medication!! There are many different causes for headaches that range from muscular, vascular, psychological, emotional, etc. The most important thing is verifying what the cause of your headache is, and whether it may benefit from osteopathic treatment.

In osteopathy, we focus on treating headaches that have a cervical and cranial origin. This is because we know that this region is the key to treating the cranial blood flow that enters and exits the head. This region also has a direct relation with muscles that are in charge of moving our head and keeping it still and stable when necessary. Simplifying all this, we basically find three major causes in our day to day clinical experience.

In first place, if we find you have a pulsating pain, this could be a vascular type headache. In this case it is extremely important to verify that the orifices where the arteries enter and the veins exit the head, are completely free of any compression, allowing a correct entry and exit of blood. If for example we find a blockage of the jugular orifice, this means that blood is having difficulty exiting the head, which will cause a congestive headache due to the pressure caused by the blood that enters the head freely but cannot leave the cranium without difficulty.


As a second possible cause, we find that there are also several nerves that can cause headaches in the occipital area (back of the head). These nerves emerge from the first few  vertebrae, which can be affected by the contraction of the muscles at the base of the cranium. These nerves can also be irritated where they originate, if we find a blockage or lack of movement of these vertebrae, this will add difficulty to the correct functionality of these nerves causing headache pain.

Our last major cause is muscular, specially the muscles that control head movement and stability of this region. These muscles can directly cause pain of any part of the neck, head and facial area. This occurs due to many complex nervous relations, between the nerves that are in charge of controlling these muscles, and the nerves that pick up the sensitivity of the cranial region. There are many trigger point pain maps that show the areas of referred  pain from these muscles, as an example, we include some images in this article to give you an idea of where some muscles can give pain.

These examples are only a few of many causes of headaches and migraines, but are also common and react very well to osteopathic treatment.

With our questions, exploration and tests we verify what type of headache is affecting the patient, and follow up with the correct osteopathic treatment


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