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  • Catherine Wasik

The headache



THE HEADACHE Headache disorders may be the third most significant cause of disability globally, with migraine and medication related headaches contributing to this statistic. The International Headache Society revised the classification of headaches in 2013 grouping headaches into ‘primary’, headaches which are associated with medication, migraines, tension, anxiety; ‘secondary’, headaches associated with an injury, infection, problems of the eye, sinuses, neck, mouth and teeth; and the third broad spectrum of neuropathies, other facial pain and other headaches.


This newsletter will focus on headaches associated with the neck which may or may not have started with a trauma such as a whiplash.

THE NECK

The neck is a complex of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, lymph glands, nerves and blood vessels. Several of these structures can sustain micro-tear injuries or may cause compression/entrapment on local nerves or blood vessels that supply the head resulting in a headache. In a whiplash accident, associated with a fall or a road traffic accident, the neck can be thrown through more extreme ranges of movement causing strain patterns in the tissues of the neck and triggering a chain of inflammatory chemicals to be released.


An Osteopath would assess the neck for movement and pain in the aim to isolate the structures that are causing the pain and then, with appropriate techniques, encourage the tissues to loosen. Following an assessment of the neck, if the Osteopath thinks that the headache is not associated with the neck, she will give appropriate advice, and if necessary refer the patient to their GP.


Over 90% of people will suffer from a headache at some point in their life.


POSTURE – BETTER POSTURE CAN HELP NECK PAIN AND HEADACHES.

The ideal standing position is a general plumbline from the ear to the tip of the shoulder and then aligning with the hips, knees and slightly in front of the ankles. The spinal curves are present but not exaggerated. The position should not require a lot of energy to maintain. With so many people working at a computer, either at work or a home, it is sensible to understand a good sitting posture and to remember to take

regular breaks and move around.














FEVERFEW (TANACETUM PARTHENIUM ) A PAIN RELIEVING HERB USEFUL FOR RELIEVING HEADACHES.

This member of the daisy family has been used for centuries to treat headaches, arthritis and problems with labour and childbirth. Ancient Greek physicians used it to reduce inflammation and treat menstrual cramps. Although it was once used to treat fevers, as its name suggests, it was not very effective. It is now used to prevent migraine headaches, and several scientific studies suggest that it works well for that purpose.


It works by inhibiting the release of two inflammatory substances, serotonin and prostaglandins. However, although effective for a headache, it has been seen to be less effective when a migraine has already started, hence for migraines it is recommended in the early stages before a full blown headache comes on.

Studies have highlighted the effectiveness of this herb and unlike the non-steriodal anti-inflammatories e.g. aspirin and ibruprofen, this herb does not cause stomach irritation which can lead to ulceration of the stomach.


Although it was once used to treat fevers, as its name suggests, it was not very effective. It is now used to prevent migraine headaches, and several scientific studies suggest that it works well for that purpose. It works by inhibiting the release of two inflammatory substances, serotonin and prostaglandins. However, although effective for a headache, it has been seen to be less effective when a migraine has already started, hence for migraines it is recommended in the early stages before a full blown headache comes on.


Studies have highlighted the effectiveness of this herb and unlike the non-steriodal anti-inflammatories e.g. aspirin and ibruprofen, this herb does not cause stomach irritation which can lead to ulceration of the stomach.

Contact details: for more information and advice Catherine Wasik BSc Hons Ost; BSc Hons MNIMHRegistered Osteopath and Medical Herbalist At George Morris Physiotherapy Clinics in Hindley, Ashton and Leigh Direct line: 07828261152 email: catherine.w12@hotmail.com Website: www.herbalosteopathiclife.com







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