Osteopathy and Migraines!by Stephen Richardson
One of the most common theories to the causes of migraines is due to a neurological disruption which then triggers the symptoms that people experience. Osteopathic treatment can be of great benefit for those who suffer from migraines.
As an example of how osteopathy can help, a patient in her late 30’s had a long term history of migraines with up to three per week. This lady also suffered from high blood pressure and was placed on medication to control this. As such, the incidence of her migraines decreased to the point where she felt “normal again”. However the patient also did not wish to become reliant on medication for the rest of her life so an osteopathic approach was taken to see if we could help control the high blood pressure and hence the migraines.
Blood pressure is controlled by various mechanisms but especially the nervous system and being specific the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The SNS reacts to nor-adrenaline and if this is being stimulated continually then it has a big effect on many levels, but in this case the blood pressure.
In the upper part of the back the SNS runs in a chain so treatment was focused on this area and the region around the base of the skull where muscular tension can cause physical restriction and hence trigger migraines. A holistic approach was taken so as to make sure that other areas of the body was not placing undue stress on the upper back and therefore causing compensation.
Since treatment began there has been a dramatic decrease in the frequency of migraines (about once a month) and the patient has decreased the amount of medication that she was on prior to treatment.
As you can imagine going from three migraines a week down to one a month has meant a better quality of life. It is hoped that in the future that no medication will be needed and there will be no further migraines.
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