Migraine

Download our leaflet on Migraines

ABOUT MIGRAINE / HEADACHES

Over years of successfully helping people who suffer from migraine and headaches, we hope that you can benefit too.

As Osteopaths, we believe that subluxations in the vertebral column cause far reaching signs and symptoms due to the nerves being irritated.

This is so true in migraine and other headache conditions.

Misaligned spine bones (vertebrae) can irritate the nerves that travel from the spinal cord to the neck and brain. A specialized network of nerves lies at the top of your spine and controls smooth muscles and glands in the head as well as the diameter of blood vessels and pupil dilation. Interference here can cause chemical imbalances in the brain.

Subluxation at the joint between the skull and the top cervical vertebra can put pressure on the nerves associated with this network. This explains why attacks of migraine often include visual problems such as photophobia.

Another vital nerve is the vagus (wandering) nerve which innervates the stomach which is also often affected in a migraine attack. Signs and symptoms include nausea and vomiting.

Certain people are more prone to this.

Realigning the vertebrae relieves the stress on the nerves and reduces the likelihood of migraine and other headaches.

Skull bones (including the jaw) can become distorted too and at BCC we can help to bring them back in alignment too so they can move with the rhythm of the body.

WHAT IS MIGRAINE?

Migraine is a neuro-chemical event and involves the musculo-skeletal system.

The pain from migraine may come from triggers such as stress, lack of food, menstrual cycles, hormonal influences, bright lights, loud noises, food sensitivities e.g. cheese, and/or lack of sleep. The effects on the muscles and thus the bones can be alleviated with Massage Therapy in all its forms and Osteopathy has its part to play.

‘In 1030AD, Avicenna said that migraine was due to hyperexcitability of the brain, which made it react unusually to noises and light – it took 930 + years before it could be measured! Now it is accepted that certain individuals’ brain patterns have bigger waves produced when confronted by flashing lights. (This has been compared to non-migraine sufferers).’

OUR AIM IS TO TRY TO PREVENT MIGRAINE ATTACKS INCLUDING:

  • keeping a log of attacks, so that, hopefully, patterns and triggers can be detected. This may be impossible
  • Improving overall health with diet and exercise, trying to work with some form of stress management plus improving the structure

WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE?

The treatment is non-invasive and has no side effects.

Orthodox medicine tends to prescribe drugs for migraine. Sometimes the side effects are unbearable.

There is no ‘cure’ for migraine.

We work with the health of the body and aim to improve structure so that the body can heal itself.

IMPLICATIONS FOR MASSAGE THERAPY IN HEADACHES AND MIGRAINE:

  • Relaxation is a recognised important part of the treatment of migraine, and, of course, Massage Therapy has an important and effective role to play here.
  • Increased tension in the muscles of the neck will affect nerves and blood vessels – causing headache and other signs and symptoms – also influencing the bones of the head, which should move freely. Massage to the neck and shoulder area and also the face helps.
  • Disturbance in structure of any part of the body has knock on effects causing pain due to muscle spasm… all the more reason to have a full Swedish Massage – back, legs and arms – tension is everywhere.
  • Face massage eases tension in the facial muscles. Reducing tension in jaw muscles has dramatic effects. We do tend to grit our teeth and may have problems after a visit to the dentist.
  • Reflex points exist on the face just as they do in other areas. Face massage can give relief and also affect the whole body.
  • Foot massage can also have far reaching effects through the reflexes as well as being a wonderfully relaxing experience.
  • Abdominal massage can ease tension there and help digestion. Trouble there can often be a trigger for migraine, e.g. constipation
  • Massage can help give people a little more confidence in taking things on, rather than always saying ‘no’ just in case of an attack.

We recommend an osteopathic check up to ensure that are functioning at 100%. The problem may be originating in your pelvis or knees – why not find out before you suffer any longer!

WHAT CAN WE DO AT BROOKS-CARTER CLINIC?

Remedial Massage addresses muscle imbalances, which occur when the body is continually fixed in one position or involved in repetitive actions – golf, tennis, piano playing, computer work, driving etc.

Remedial Massage is a treatment that can be applied specifically to help prevent an injury or the recurrence of a past injury as well as treating the injury itself.

Advanced Remedial Massage can be used to bring the body into balance using Muscle Energy Techniques which are gentle and effective.

Problems in the structure disturb the circulation and electricals throughout the body leaving the person vulnerable to many diseases.

Advanced Remedial and Sports Massage therapists treat and educate on management techniques for back and neck pain, headaches, referred pain, overuse injuries and postural complaints.

Reflexology helps the body to heal itself. Following illness, stress, injury or disease, the body is in a state of "imbalance", and vital energy pathways are blocked, preventing the body from functioning effectively. Reflexology can be used to restore and maintain the body's natural equilibrium and encourage healing.

Organs and body parts are represented on specific points on the feet thus problem areas can be treated/worked. Relaxation benefits are to be experienced!

Osteopathy is the science of human mechanics. It is a system of diagnosis and treatment which lays main emphasis on the structural and mechanical problems of the body which affect all organs and our day to day living. We are not here just to digest, secrete, excrete, circulate and breathe but we do so much more and are so much more.

We are a reflection of our actions! Our muscles, bones, joints and ligaments adapt to the demands we make – from cycling, to running, to cooking, to working – manually or at computers, to writing and speaking. Misalignment of the spine bones causes nerve stress – the electricals that ultimately fire your muscles. We work to correct spinal nerve stress using manipulation.

The osteopath assesses and treats faults that happen due to injury, stress or other causes. We want your body to work like a fine tuned engine with the minimum of wear, tear, stress and energy, leaving more energy available for living!

The Osteopath has a toolkit of techniques which can be ‘custom built’ for all ages to attempt to sort out all of the above. The body has a natural healing ability – we work with that.

Naturopathy involves lifestyle including diet –and this advice is available too.

THERAPY OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR THIS CONDITION AT BROOKS-CARTER CLINIC