Migraine headaches can adversely impair one’s quality of life and their capacity to carry out their everyday routines, at home and at work. While Osteopathic treatment for tension-type and cervicogenic headaches has been shown to be helpful, what does the literature suggest about its effect on migraines?
The first thing to remember is that while migraines cannot actually be caused by cervical disorder, problems in the neck play a role in the onset of migraine headaches.
For example, researchers examined the neck of 52 female migraineurs and 52 women without a history of neck pain or headaches, in a 2019 study published in the European Spine Journal. They found that participants in the migraine group were significantly more likely to show cervical dysfunction.
Another study in 2019, this time published in the Cephalagia review, found that migraine patients with chronic neck pain have a slightly greater migraine-related issues than those without neck pain. Many tests have found that patients with migraines are more likely to have pain points in the cervical muscles.
So, can Osteopathic therapy help migraine patients boost their cervical function? An analysis of evidence from six randomised study trials which involved a total of 667 migraine headache patients undergoing spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), concluded that SMT is “an efficient therapeutic strategy for minimising migraine days and pain / intensity.”
What can a migraine patient expect on seeing an Osteopath? The patient must undergo a detailed assessment to understand which areas to administer care in the cervical region, typically by assessing the degree of joint “play” or restraint, point tenderness and localised muscle protection using static and motion palpation procedures.
Usually the treatment strategy may include a mixture of spinal manipulation, stimulation, unique movements, modalities, and dietary guidelines, based on the needs and preferences of the patient. Book online here for any issues you feel may need treatment.