Can osteopaths evaluate my headaches? Yes is the short answer ,and if the headache picture is of concern or requires more extensive investigations, they also know when to refer you on.
Osteopaths are Primary Health care practitioners who have been educated in the assessment of headaches. They have the skill to take the necessary history and interpret whether osteopathy is appropriate for you or if you should be referred to a different health professional.
Stillpoint Osteopaths are encouraged to work collaboratively with your health team when needed, and collaboratively as an osteopathic team to take advantage of our osteopaths’ cumulative experience.
Your osteopath may ask unusual questions, try to get you to pinpoint onsets, evaluate your stress factors, discuss physical and emotional traumas that you have experienced, and talk through triggers for your headaches. Sometimes simple causes can be identified. Maybe you have recently had a dental extraction and then you started to get headaches, or perhaps you have some new prescription glasses which maybe are not quite right. You may have started a new job and the workstation is different. Or you sustained and injury.
Some Causes of Headaches
Your neck, jaw, sinuses, teeth, eyes, breathing mechanics as well as poor posture can be key factors in recurrent headaches. Your osteopath will do a thorough examination of many different areas of your body to determine whether these areas are working well, have full range of movement, or are showing signs of strain or reduced function.
What to Expect When an Osteopath Evaluates your Headaches:
Your osteopath will ask you to perform specific movements which they observe. They will get you to move your jaw, neck, back, hips and shoulders in certain directions. They will observe your breathing and palpate (feel) how your ribs move when you breath. They will palpate joints and put movements through joints so that they can feel the quality of the tissues and the movement associated with those joints. This may be joints in your pelvis, lower back, spine as a whole and your neck. They will feel the tone and tension of your muscles. This process allows then to start to build a picture of what joints are moving well, which areas are compromised and how your body is potentially compensating. At Stillpoint Osteopaths there is no need to disrobe for this examination to occur.
What Might Your Stillpoint Osteopath Find?
Your osteopath might find that you have had an injury in the past that has not fully resolved. It may have limited your range of motion in certain joints of your body. We call this the mechanics of your joints. A bit like your car where its parts need to be aligned properly for the wheels to be balanced and if you hit a curb hard and throw things off the efficiency of the car and its function might be affected. This is not to suggest that some of us don’t function perfectly fine with some wonky bits and pieces!
They may find that your jaw is tight because you had a crown that changed your bite, or your neck is very compromised from old whiplash injury, or you rode horses as a child and you landed a lot on your bottom which in most cases might not cause problems but maybe for you it has.
Not all injuries leave residual issues or cause headaches, but it might be one factor you haven’t considered in your exploration to resolve your headache pattern.
So what does an Osteopathic Treatment involve.
Well you may need to take off a bulky jacket or a tight tie or belt however mostly you can relax in your own clothes both for the examination and treatment process. As you may have read from our website, our form of osteopathy is gentle and is referred to as Osteopathy in the Cranial field.
This treatment approach can be performed in any position. If you cannot lie on your back due to extreme pain, your osteopath will work out a comfortable position for you.
The treatment does not involve any force and works with your bodies self-correcting abilities. Patients often feel very held and supported by the quality of the treatment and feel deep potential for change. Headaches are often multifactorial meaning have potentially several reasons for being present. Osteopathy in the cranial field holds the space for the possibility of your body to soften, breath better, move better and allow you find some ease.