Written by Alastair Sherlock, Osteopath

24 April 2023

Headaches can be debilitating at worst and at least distracting and uncomfortable. There are many causes but the majority of the cases I see are a result of dysfunction in the cervical spine and the neck.

If the articulations at the back of the vertebra or neck bone are compressed they can irritate the nerve causing a headache. So it is important to remove that restriction so that the headache can resolve. It is equally important to discover why this is happening in the first place. Most often there is a compression arising from the pelvic asymmetry. All mechanical anatomy is related and dependent on one another for their correct  movement. For example if you bring your arm out to the side straight and above your head at 30 degrees the shoulder blade gives you 33% of that movement and in the final stages the rest comes from extension or side bend of the thoracic spine. So, if this is held back more strain is received at the neck that can cause compression leading to headaches. Identifying and addressing any hindrance to that movement that is either directly or indirectly causing the issue is of key importance. It is easy to get rid of a headache but takes more deduction to remove it and prevent it returning. 

As an osteopath I approached this problem by using gentle non-invasive manipulation of the spine to eradicate these causes. Then teaching the patient what they can do in terms of self mobilisation and stretching  is effective at eliminating headaches and ensuring they do not return. There are of course other causes of headaches such as dehydration, too much or too little blood supply to the brain and ergonomic work posture but again these are issues that can be addressed. Together we can work towards keeping you ahead of the ache.

If you are experiencing headaches, make an appointment with our Osteopath here.