Complementary therapies for migraine

MigraineMigraine affects 1 in every 7 people in the UK. In this post we take a look at the therapies we offer that can help with migraine symptoms and migraine prevention which offer an alternative to prescribed and over-the-counter medication.

What is migraine?

A migraine is so much more than a bad headache. It’s a neurological condition of recurring extreme headaches that are often linked with other symptoms such as sensitivity to light and noise, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and eyesight disturbances.

According to The Migraine Trust’s website, over 8 million people in the UK are affected by migraine, making it more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined.

The Migraine Trust says that over half of the people who experience migraines suffer one or more attacks per month, and 13% suffer one or more attacks every week. Migraine is more common in women than in men. Attacks can last anything from a few hours to a few days.

While the exact cause of migraines is unknown, they are thought to be the result of temporary changes in the chemicals and blood vessels in the brain. There is no known cure for migraine. Many migraine sufferers treat their symptoms with drugs and bed rest.

Here at Good Health Centre we believe that alternative therapies can be used to treat this most common neurological condition, both relieving the symptoms of migraine and helping to prevent attacks.

Osteopathy for migraine

Increased muscle tension in the upper back and neck may be a contributory factor to migraine. When treating a patient who suffers migraines, osteopaths concern themselves with alleviating tension in the muscles of the neck, back and shoulders, as well as around the base of the skull and the jaw. They will also examine a patient’s posture and look at any structural imbalances in the body caused by, for example, illness, injury or stress that may be contributing to the migraines, and use gentle, manual techniques to correct them.

Chiropractic for migraine

Similarly, chiropractic treatment for migraine focuses on alleviating any restriction in movement of the neck, as well as relieving muscle tension in the neck, upper back and shoulders. Chiropractors will perform various manual adjustments and movements.

A chiropractic treatment for migraine will also look at correcting any postural issues that could be contributing to the occurrence of migraines. Your chiropractor may also suggest stretches and exercise to help improve posture.

Acupuncture for migraine

Since acupuncture can be used to restore an uninhibited flow of the body’s energy forces, encouraging healing and promoting wellbeing, many acupuncturists believe that regular treatments can help to reduce the frequency of attacks in migraine sufferers. It is thought that placing needles in certain acupuncture points around the body can help to reduce inflammation in the brain and release endorphins that help provide pain relief.

Reflexology for migraine

Similarly, reflexology can be used to promote the flow of energy through the body and restore balance. Reflexology is based on the principle that certain points on the feet and hands correspond to specific parts of the body. By applying pressure to these reflex points, a trained reflexologist can release tensions, improve the blood supply and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes.

There are specific acupressure points on the feet and hands for headache and migraine and it is these points that reflexologists use when treating migraine sufferers.

Find out more about osteopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture and reflexology treatments at Good Health Centre, or contact us to discuss your symptoms.

Find out more about medical research into migraine plus information and support for sufferers on the Migraine Trust website.

Osteopathy for new mums

mother-and-babyIn our practice we help many women who are suffering aches and pains as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. Caring for a new baby can be physically demanding, at a time when the mother’s body is still recovering from the hormonal and postural changes of pregnancy. Mothers need to look after their own health so that they can better cope with this demand.

After giving birth, a woman’s body must recover from both the changes it made during pregnancy and from the effects of delivery. New mothers may suffer from aches and pains, and some can also feel quite traumatised by the whole labour experience. And there’s the whole lack of sleep issue too, of course!

One of the most common causes of back problems after childbirth is caused by a mother’s feet being placed in stirrups during or after delivery. The mother’s pelvis is often pulled out of balance by the passage of the baby, particularly in a difficult labour. If her feet are placed in stirrups for the delivery or for stitching after the baby’s birth, the weight of the legs puts huge leverage through the pelvis at a time when the pelvic ligaments are stretched to their limit and unstable. Unresolved childbirth stresses in a woman’s pelvis can contribute to ongoing back problems, neck pain, general fatigue, and even headaches.

A woman’s body continues to produce pregnancy hormones up to five months after the baby’s birth. This makes the ligaments more flexible, putting them, together with joints and discs of the lower back, under greater pressure. This can make them more prone to injury.

New mums need to take care with activities like carrying and lifting a pram or car seat in and out of the car, reaching over the cot, carrying a child on one hip, and feeding in poor positions. These can all place enormous strain on a mother’s back at a time when it is more injury prone.

Osteopathy can help. Skilfully applied osteopathic treatment can help the mother return to normal, both physically and emotionally, by releasing strains in the back caused by pregnancy and labour. Our osteopaths tailor treatments to meet each woman’s specific needs so will spend time asking questions and gathering detailed information about a woman’s health before, during and after pregnancy.

Our osteopaths also advise new mums on managing their babies without straining their own bodies. They offer advice on exercise to help women return to fitness to be better prepared to care for their babies, as well as providing treatments which may relieve the stresses and strains of pregnancy and labour.

New mums, get in touch to find out how our team of osteopaths can help you.