Persistent Headaches?

By Robin Adams – West Country Osteopaths. (originally published in CityPress magazine Nov 2012)

It has been revealed that more than one million people in Britain may be suffering from constant, crippling headaches because they are taking too many painkillers. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says the medication that people take for their headaches and migraines may make things much worse, in guidance to the health service for England and Wales.

headaches and osteopathy treatment
As many as one in 50 people suffer continual headaches due to “medication overuse”, NICE reports. The problem begins with taking the occasional painkiller for tension headaches or migraines, which works well. But some people take the pills more and more often, until they are on tablets for more than half the days in a month. NICE says that if this goes on for more than three months the medication ends up causing the problem it is intended to cure.

So what alternatives are there to continually popping pills? The British Osteopathic Association says tension type and neck related headaches are the most common form. These can be helped with osteopathic treatment and regular gentle exercise such as yoga, pilates and swimming will help. This improves movement and flexibility in the joints and muscles – reducing tension in those muscles around the neck and skull which cause headaches.

Some people find it hard to relax and probably don't realise how tense they are, whilst others may lead stressful lives causing increased tension in the neck and shoulder muscles. Osteopaths look to find the cause of tensions or stiffness and seek to relieve it by helping the body achieve more mobility and flexibility. Other lifestyle factors such as poor posture at a desk or tiredness can lead to tension-type or neck related headaches. Osteopaths look to relieve this tension and give advice on posture and exercises to do to help prevent the tension or stiffness from building up.

For further information on how West Country Osteopaths can help you with your headaches, call them on 01392 555111.

BBC Article - Painkillers 'are the cause' of millions of headaches