TREATING HEADACHE PAIN
Our practice has specialized in the treatment of headache pain for more than a decade. The Osteopathic manual therapy and neuromuscular therapies we provide is distinguished from all other forms of therapy in its ability to identify, evaluate and treat the causes of the vast majority of headaches – somatic dysfunction - soft tissue disorders in the neck, shoulder or jaw. To every patient, we make this pledge...
What is a headache?
When people say that have a “headache,” they may be describing anything from mild discomfort to pain so severe it is incapacitating. The pain may be localized in one or more areas of the head, neck, face or jaw.
According to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 90% of all headaches are classified as tension/muscle contraction headaches – originating in the contraction of soft tissue in the neck, shoulder, jaw and scalp.
A number of other studies support the finding that most headaches are biomechanical in nature – caused by disorders of the soft tissue and skeletal systems in the upper anatomy. These complex structures involve muscles, nerves, blood vessels and bone. Soft tissue contractions in these areas can set off a chain of events that produce headache pain. Headache pain can also be caused by arthritic changes in the spine or neck, whiplash and other injuries, jaw joint disorders, poor posture, drug side effects, or even something as simple as caffeine withdrawal.
Some headaches may be a sign of more serious underlying conditions such as infection, cardiovascular disease, or tumor. That is why the first step in discovering the cause of your headache pain should always be an evaluation by your family physician or other medical professional.
If no underlying disease process is identified in this medical assessment and the cause of the headache remains unknown, a careful neuromuscular examination of the neck, shoulders and jaw by a qualified therapist is the logical next step in a thorough evaluation. This exam can reveal the nature and location of any soft tissue contraction, which is causing the headache pain. As a trained manual therapists we also offer treatment options for soft tissue disorders that will correct the problem, relieve the headache pain, and prevent headaches from recurring. Manual therapy techniques have proven beneficial to millions of headache sufferers.