Headaches and Migraines

Headaches are common, and we all take the odd one now and again for granted; however, many people suffer with regular headaches and don't seek care because they think it is normal, or because they have sought help from the medical profession in the past for their headaches and think that nothing more can be done.

There are many different types of headache, and it is not uncommon for someone to be suffering from more than one type concurrently.

How can we help?

Correct Diagnosis

The most important aspect to treating headaches successfully is making a correct diagnosis. Once we know the type of headache we are dealing with, we are able to ascertain whether we are likely to be able to help. Should we feel we cannot help, we will refer you on to the appropriate medical professional who can.

Young woman suffering from a headache

The vast majority of headaches are benign (i.e. they do not need referral for further investigation). Once your practitioner has determined this, they will then go on to identify which of the most common headache patterns your headaches fit into. These are:

  • Migraine
  • Tension-type or cluster
  • Cervicogenic

It is very common for your headaches to be associated with other symptoms as well, such as:

  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Upper limb pain
  • Upper limb numbness
  • Tingling and pins and needles
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vertigo
  • Tinnitus
  • Visual blurring or disturbances
  • Facial numbness, tingling or pain

A chiropractic and osteopathic package of care can provide relief for tension-type and cervicogenic headaches, as well as preventative care for migraines.

Chiropractor treating young woman's neck for headaches

You will be involved in any decisions about your care, and your practitioner will give you advice on appropriate pain management strategies.

Your treatment is likely to be a package of care that may include:

  • Expert advice
  • Self-management
  • Manual therapies (including manipulation, mobilisation and soft tissue work)
  • Dry needling/medical acupuncture
  • Tailored exercise approaches
  • Psychologically informed care

You can also expect to receive advice on the appropriateness of undertaking exercises, being physically active and continuing normal daily activities as far as possible, as well as remaining in work, graded return and fit notes.

For more information about different types of headaches, please see the conditions at the top left-hand side of this page.

How long will it take until I feel better?

This is very much down to the individual. As a rough guide, young, fit and healthy patients with more recent problems will probably take fewer adjustments; however, older, less fit or indeed the less healthy individual will probably take a few more.

Different conditions take different lengths of time to heal as well (for example, a facet joint sprain will heal a lot more quickly than a disc herniation).

At your Report of Findings (RoF) appointment, your practitioner will give you an informed estimate as to how long you can expect the course of care to take. They will keep you up to date with your prognosis throughout your care, and you will undergo a review appointment every six sessions; however, following your practitioner's advice is strongly recommended to help you to get better more quickly.

Also, 'better' means different things to different people. Some people come to see us merely to get out of pain, whereas the majority of people come to see us to get well and stay well. Some people with chronic conditions recognise the fact that they may always have some discomfort, but derive a huge amount of benefit from regular adjustments - keeping them functioning at their very best.

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