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Headache Advice

Almost everyone will experience a headache at some point in their lives.

Most headaches are mild and will last a few hours. Water and rest usually resolve the headache. However, some of them are more frequent, last longer and can be debilitating.

Osteopathy is a drug-free option that helps with some headaches, like cervicogenic headaches (headaches that arise from the neck).


At Finchley Osteopaths, we would extensively discuss your symptoms and fully examine you to understand more about the cause of your headaches.  These are based on the latest guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Migraine in Primary Care Advisors (MIPCA).

Our clinical examination consists of a physical examination, a neurological screening and blood pressure taking. If necessary, we would refer you for further investigations, such as an MRI scan, or to a neurologist. Our management includes hands on treatment, exercise, advice on lifestyle changes.

We work closely with neurologists, optometrists, counsellors, meditation groups, nutritionists to create the most appropriate treatment plan for you as an individual. Because of the evolving new findings on headaches, we always stay informed about the latest research causes and management through Continuous Professional Development (CPD) seminars.


Seek Urgent Medical Advice In The Following Situations

Severe, sudden onset, “thunderclap” headache

Severe headache that is accompanied by any sensory loss or loss of regular body functions e.g. visual disturbance, sudden loss of hearing, loss of balance, changes in bowel or bladder functions

Confusion and memory loss

Recent head trauma

Fever, rash and neck stiffness

Call An Ambulance


How Can Osteopaths Help?

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), headaches are the most common disorder of the nervous system.  Most frequently, headaches like tension-type headaches and cervicogenic headaches are related to a pre-existing mechanical upper back or neck disturbance.

Tension in muscles and stiffness in joints could generate pressures and irritation on nerves that then are referred into the back of the skull or even over the top of the head, forehead, and eyes.  Conversely, the headaches themselves, for example in the case of migraine or cluster headaches, can in turn cause tension and pain in the neck, head and upper back.

By treating the neck and upper back, often the migraine will be relieved.  Your osteopaths Nonica, Ruby and Tendy, will look at the root cause of your headache, and if needed, they will also discuss with you any lifestyle changes.  Our approach into managing headaches is to assess the spinal mechanics, and ensure your joint and muscles function optimally.

Our treatment usually includes articulating the spine and stretching the soft tissues around the upper back, neck and head muscles (i.e.: Occipito-frontalis).  We usually find that our treatment will help resolve your headaches in a short period of time.

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/CG150 link for NICE

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/headache-disorders   link for WHO



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