Suffering from headaches?
If you suffer from regular headaches, they can severely impact your daily life. Headaches can range in severity and intensity; from being a minor irritation to severely painful, especially migraines.
According to the British Association for the Study of Headache (BASH) headache is a problem likely to affect an estimated 40% of the UK population at some point in their lives. It is also the leading cause of consultation in both general practice and specialist clinics as well as complementary therapy clinics such as Osteopathic Clinics.
How can we help?
Chris has done additional training with the OPHM for the management and treatment of headaches to increase his knowledge and skills in headache management.
He has previously run a successful headache clinic in Nottinghamshire.
Due to a history of headaches in his own family he has a special interest in them and has many years experience of helping people with the classification, treatment and management of different types of headaches.
An important part of your consultation with Chris will be to exclude any serious underlying cause and ascertain if you are suffering from primary or secondary headaches.
Chris can determine whether there is a musculoskeletal reason through a thorough case history and examination or whether he needs to refer you back to your GP.
Soft-tissue massage, articulation, and gentle joint releasing techniques along with looking at and alleviating tension in the muscles of the shoulders and the neck often give patients significant, if not complete, relief from their headache symptoms.
Common Types of primary headaches
There are over 150 different types of headache that generally fall into two categories:
Primary headaches are those that have no known underlying cause
Secondary headaches are those that are the result of another condition causing pressure or inflammation of pain sensitive structures.
Tension-type headache (TTH)
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. Stress and tight muscles are often factors in tension-type headaches. Common symptoms of tension headaches include:
Dull, aching head pain
Sensation of tightness or pressure across the forehead or on the sides and back of the head
Tenderness in the scalp, neck, and shoulder muscles
Migraines are one of the most common causes of primary headache occurring in 10% – 15% of the UK adult population and are usually characterised by a severe pain, throbbing on one or both sides of the head, nausea and sickness, sensitivity to light, noise, and smell, and made worse by movement.
Migraines can last from hours, up to several days in duration. A so-called ‘aura’ may precede the headache, and may be visual consisting of spots, zigzag lines, coloured lights or tingling of the face or limbs.
This is a rare primary headache which can be difficult to treat. the main symptom of these type of headaches is severe pain on one side of the head commonly felt around the eye, temple and occasionally the face lasting between 15 minutes and a few hours numerous times in a day.
They usually occur in a pattern over 4 to 12 weeks before they subside and are followed by a remission period that can last months or years before they start again.
These types of headache are less common. Caused by an underlying structural problem in the head or neck, they can often be successfully treated when diagnosed early. There are numerous causes for this type of headache which can include:
Arthritis in the neck
Fortunately, they are rarely caused by pathology such as tumours and the majority of people that present with headaches to care providers will have a primary headache.