Migraines and headaches are common, affecting around 3 million and 7 million Australians respectively. That means a staggering 10 million Australians suffer from some form of headache.

What is the difference between a migraine and a headache?

A migraine and headache can present in a number of different ways and in varying intensities. Migraine headache is typically described as a sharp and debilitating head pain which is often accompanied by neurological symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, strange visual disturbances and light sensitivity. Tension type headaches are more common and can be caused by mechanical or muscular problems associated with the neck. These headaches are often associated with a dull and pulsating pain at the base of the head, near the temples or behind the eyes. Migraine sufferers will usually identify a clear difference between a headache and a migraine as they may have a long personal or family history of the condition.

What are some common causes of headaches?

Migraines and tension headaches share a number of causes and triggers which commonly contribute to their onset. Either can be caused by a number of factors including neck tension from poor posture at work, home and when driving; prolonged sedentary posture and computer-based work; overuse and stress; anxiety and fatigue; emotional upsets, and depression. A key difference is migraines can also be caused by sensory and/or diet related triggers, such as strong smells or particular foods.

What is the best approach for managing headaches and migraines?

As headaches and migraines often have more than one cause it is best to be medically assessed by a trained health professional prior to any intervention. For the majority of headache sufferers’ however physical therapy treatment is recommended, such as Osteopathy. Osteopathic treatment uses skilled ‘hands on’ techniques for the head and neck combined with targeted management advice. The goal being to provide not only short-term relief but long lasting results.

How can an Osteopath help?

Our practitioners use skilled evaluation, diagnosis and hands on techniques in treating migraines and headaches. Osteopaths take a holistic approach, addressing both the cause and the symptoms, whilst providing the latest evidence informed management advice.

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At the Geelong Osteopathy Group we aim to provide the highest quality of care and comprehensive pain solutions.

Osteopath treating a patient's rolled ankle.