Are headaches holding you back?

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Do you experience headaches?

You’re certainly not alone. Headaches are a common health concern among Australians, with almost all of us experiencing them from time to time. As we age, headaches can become more common. For some of us, they may come and go but for others they can be more persistent and debilitating.

If you find that headaches are impacting your quality of life or holding you back from doing the things you love, it’s important to seek advice from a qualified health care professional.

Conveniently located in Canberra’s south, I have over 15 years experience providing quality treatment and professional advice to help manage headaches and migraines.

What causes headaches?

An important thing to recognise about headaches is there are all different kinds with many different causes. Some more serious than others. Often there can be multiple factors at play which is why it’s important to seek professional advice. These need to be investigated thoroughly so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated. This is especially important if you’re experiencing persistent or reoccurring headaches.

Lifestyle factors like stress, diet, substance abuse, poor posture, bad ergonomics, particular medications, muscle tension, noise exposure, an injury or trauma, exposure to temperature extremes, lack of exercise or not drinking enough water are often common triggers for headaches.

Headaches can also be an indication of an underlying disorder such as an eye condition, hormonal imbalances, high blood pressure, ear nose or throat issues, nervous system disorders or an infection.

Genetics may also play a contributing role.

How can Osteopathy help with my headache?

While most headaches are not life-threatening they can have a big impact on your quality of life. Some of the types of headaches I often treat as an Osteopath include:

  • Migraines – a common headache that can feel like a dull or throbbing pain in the head or neck. Often migraines present with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting and changes in vision.
  • Tension Headaches – are often described as a tight band around your head or a dull ache, pressure or tenderness in the head or neck. Generally mild to moderate in intensity, these types of headaches are commonly triggered by stress.
  • Cervicogenic headache – which is pain referred to the head from a source in the neck. This can include things like fractures, infections, arthritis, and potentially age related wear and tear of the spinal disks in your neck. Most cervicogenic headaches develop on one side of the head, and are accompanied by neck pain and stiffness. They can be provoked by certain neck movements.

These types of headaches often respond well to Osteopathic treatment. Treatment techniques to help release muscles and improve mobility though the joints of the head and neck, along with postural assessment, advice and remedial exercises all aim to reduce the frequency and intensity of your headaches.

In rare circumstances headaches can be an indication of a potentially dangerous underlying condition that may require urgent diagnosis and/or specialised medical treatment. Osteopaths are trained to recognise warning signs or symptoms of these types of headaches and identify when it is appropriate to refer individuals for further specialist diagnostic assessment. Where appropriate, I’ll work with your other health care providers to support you and help ensure you get the care you need.

Don’t let headaches hold you back from living your best life. Contact me today to see how I can help get you on a path to health.

Headache Prevention

There are some simple healthy lifestyle changes that can go a long way in helping to prevent headaches, these include:

  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Not smoking
  • Engaging in regular physical exercise
  • Eating a healthy balanced diet with regular meals and snacks
  • Reducing alcohol, caffeine and sugar intake
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yoga, meditation or progressive muscle relaxation

When to seek emergency help?

It is recommended that you seek emergency care if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:-

  • Abrupt, severe headache
  • Headache accompanied by a fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision, weakness, numbness or speaking difficulties
  • A headache after a head injury, particularly if the headache is worsening.
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