A problem in your neck can set off or worsen your migraine.

Most people think of migraines as running in the family and that only pills can ease the symptoms and side-effects of a migraine. Fortunately, the latter part is not true. Genetic factors do play a large role, as does a lack or routine (having lie-ins, not sleeping at the same time each night, etc.) but a huge part of the pain and ‘wiped-out’ feeling we get is due to the muscles in the neck tightening as a reaction to the migraine.

So what contributes to a migraine attack?

The migraine causes irritation in the nerves to the head and neck, which causes tension and irritation in the joints and muscles of the neck, which causes more pain. A nasty ‘vicious’ cycle occurs that is difficult to break.Any irritation in or around the head, face or neck can irritate the nerves and produce referred pain felt in the head. Sinusitis, toothache, and ear-ache are all possibilities. Once this irritation continues it can sensitise and ‘turn up’ the intensity of their pain. This produces more muscle tension and joint irritation resulting in further pain and irritation.

How can osteopathy help?

By reducing the amount of tension in these ‘irritated’ muscles and gently manipulating the neck joints, we can begin to break this vicious cycle and over-ride the nerve irritation and lessen your pain.

With a short course of treatment to break this cycle, and help remove unresolved neck strains, your migraines will be far less intense and much less frequent. Most patients feel that they can cope with mild pain killers and their migraines rarely occur and not weekly or daily.

Read the evidence on headaches and manipulation.

Click to read how osteopathy helped Jean with her migraines.