Physically Treating a Migraine or Headache
Since I set up the Headache Clinic many people have asked what is actually involved, what is it I do when you come to see me?
I think the first point to make is that you won’t get your neck “cracked”. As a physiotherapist I don’t do the strong spinal manipulations that some chiropractors use. All of my physical therapy tools are gentle and you won’t be pulled or cracked or forced at all.
Assessing and understanding
Migraine and Headache – these are both big words that cover a huge range of actual issues with a variety of causes. In fact the International Headache Society specifies 29 different types of migraine! That’s not even starting the 11 other main types of headache they cover.
So the assessment to understand what is going on is key.
Headaches can also be indicators of much more serious issues, issues which would not respond well to physical therapy, so we have to make sure that you are in the right place! I will only treat those patients who are appropriate, I value honesty, if I don’t think I can help, or you need to be somewhere else, I will tell you during your assessment and arrange an onward referral if appropriate.
So now what?
Well, once we have a clear understanding of where your migraine or headache is coming from we can work on the root cause of the problem.
And I’ll say it again – No cracking!
Manual Therapy – yes, I will use manual techniques, but we will focus on gently and carefully releasing the tension in both the muscles and the myofascial. There is no manipulation and no force!
Reducing nerve irritation – the research suggests that the brain stem, occipital and trigeminal nerves are all implicated in migraines – by reducing the pressure and irritation on these nerves we reduce the end result – the migraine.
Self Management Techniques – by giving you the tools to be in control of your migraine.
And, most importantly of all – I’ll never leave you about to have an episode.