A headache; pain in the cranium or head.
Who has not had a headache at one time or another? Such is the range and variety of these aches that they need to be qualified and quantified to determine cause and treatment.
- Are they occasional or chronic?
- How long do they last?
- What is their intensity?
- What seems to initiate them?
- Where are they located?
- Are they accompanied by other signs or symptoms?
- What if anything brings relief?
- Is there psychological or emotional stress involved?
Structure of the head
The cranium (skull) is composed of bone, muscle, fascia, blood vessels and nerves, as is the rest of the body. It has the added components of the cerebrospinal fluid in which floats the brain, and the special senses of sight, taste, smell and sound.
Do you need to see a doctor?
If a headache is the result of a pathological/medical problem then, undoubtedly a physician needs to be consulted.
Depending on the biochemical imbalance involved, another type of alternative practitioner such as a naturopath or homeopath might be consulted.
An osteopath can of course work in tandem with any of the above practitioners especially if the causes are complicated.
Osteopathy is a complete system of manual therapy medicine which always attempts to get past a symptom, such as a headache, to an underlying cause.
With an assessment, the osteopath will determine if a headache is a biomechanical or biochemical problem or a mixture of both. A structural assessment will help to determine if the cause is mechanical.
An evaluation of the viscera (the organs) will assist in determining if there is a body chemistry problem, and a craniosacral assessment will help in determining if the problem is related to the central nervous system.
These seem to be most common and result from misalignment of the structure(s) of the body. This then creates stress, tension or pull on any tissue level; bone, muscle, circulation, fascia and nerve either in or outside the central nervous system.
Remember, nerves are always involved – if we didn’t have nerves we wouldn’t feel anything. The question is whether it is the neural tissue itself or an agent acting on it.
Common causes of structural headaches are tension and stress, poor posture, misalignment and, in today’s world, the repeated strain of sitting incorrectly at a computer all day.
Migraines are also fairly common and can be quite incapacitating and complicated. With migraines, there is a biochemical component involved in addition to which, neurological and biomechanical factors can be part of the profile. Hormonal contributions are not infrequent.
Then there is just hitting your head and ending up with a painful bump. More serious are concussions and damage to the brain or its circulatory system, all of which must be checked medically.
If you would like to know more about when to seek medical advice for headaches, book a complimentary meet and greet with me.
This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Now I would like to hear from you. Do you suffer from Headaches? What have you tried to help your symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.