Why are headaches such a pain in the head?!

Why are headaches such a pain in the head?!

Most of us will have experienced a headache at some point in our life and if not we mostly likely will. They are very common but often they are tolerated instead of actively addressed. Headaches are determined as any pain experienced within the head and can vary in the quality of pain from aching, pressure, squeezing, vice like, throbbing etc. These lovely sensations can present anywhere from hours to days in duration (the later is not much fun). Either way though, they’re annoying and…painful!

Osteopaths are trained healthcare professionals who understand the complexities of headaches and can assess and diagnose the cause. There are numerous types with the most common being tension headache, migraine, cluster headache and quite often in practice we see a lot of cervicogenic presentations (relating to the neck). 

Tissues and structures that can be driving your headache include muscles, skin, fascia, joints, intervertebral discs, eyes, ears, sinuses, blood vessels, nerves and the dura (membrane surrounding the brain). Pain will arise when specialised pain sensing nerves within these tissues sense potential danger. Messages are then sent to the brain and sometimes the brain will interpret this information as pain. As Osteopaths we often treat structures of the neck and jaw that can be facilitating the headache process. We will also offer advice around daily activities, stress, hormones, hydration, nutrition and take into consideration your history of injuries (such as whiplash and concussion), medications and supplements. See…there’s quite a bit that can be adding fuel to the fire. 

It is really important to determine the cause of your headaches to ensure nothing more serious is underlying but also if we know the cause we can often help! Granted headaches (in particular migraines) are complicated which is why an Osteopathic approach can be extremely beneficial as we look at our clients holistically to improve their quality of life. 


Dr Tayla Rhodes (Osteopath)


Please email me tayla.osteopath@gmail.com