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Tension-type headaches

Headaches occur in an estimated half of all adults worldwide.   They are the third highest cause of’ time lost to ill health’ around the globe, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

It’s believed there are more than 150 different types.  But if the steep rise in Google searches is to be believed then it’s one particular variety that seems to be causing us a problem in 2020 – the tension-type headache (TTH).

What is a tension-type headache?

 This type of headache often begins during the teenage years and affects three women to every two men. The pain can last from 30 minutes to several days or may be continuous.

What causes a tension-type headache?

A TTH is often stress-related or associated with musculoskeletal problems in the neck. But there can be a number of contributing factors, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Emotional stress
  • Depression
  • Poor posture
  • Lack of sleep
  • Physical exhaustion

So, it’s probably not surprising that they are causing us a problem in 2020 given all that’s happened!

How can I ease a tension-type headache?

It’s wise to try avoiding the stressors listed above, learning relaxation techniques like breathing exercises or yoga and perhaps cutting out caffeine.

But, as Osteopath Robin Kiashek knows, trying to stress less is much easier said than done. Robin tells us: “Stress is something many of us feel at some point in our lives and it’s even more evident this year.  But stress isn’t just a mental thing. It can show in the body in a number of ways including shoulder pains and neck aches.  It can also manifest in the diaphragm, through the neck, into the temporomandibular joint and up into the skull.”

How would Osteopathy help relieve TTH?

Osteopathy can help address the underlying factors of TTHs. That’s because Osteopaths can examine the collective elements that could be contributing to the pain.

Robin Kiashek added: “I believe that physical and mental wellbeing are inextricably linked.  I work with my patients to get a full understanding of what’s going on in their life.  Then I can better understand how that might impact them physically and also rule out underlying pathology which may require referral for more specialised assessment.”

In practical terms, Osteopaths may use a variety of techniques, all of which could help ease headaches:

  • Gentle structural osteopathic techniques, including manipulation
  • Gentle soft tissue massage
  • Lymphatic drainage techniques
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Western Acupuncture
  • Tailored exercise and stretching programmes to include in your daily routine
  • Low Level Laser Therapy,

Robin added: “In many cases, gentle massage techniques to loosen any tight muscles and manipulation techniques can be used on the joints of the neck, thorax and back.  This can relieve the build-up of muscular tension that may lead to headaches”

Patient testimonials

Over the past 20 years, Robin has seen a huge number of patients for headaches.

One patient said: “I had been suffering from headaches since childhood. Over the years, these had become more frequent and debilitating to the point where it was most unusual for me to have a day free of headache.

“I was recommended to see Robin. Robin set about releasing the tension in my upper back and neck though a series of manipulations and cranial massage. He also gave me some shoulder and neck exercises to do at home.

“I still attend regular treatments with Robin and my headache frequency continues to subside. Robin’s approach has without question improved not only the quality of my life but also that of my family, who now have less frequently to endure a bear (literally) with a sore head.”

If you are suffering from TTH or any other type of headache please do get in touch. Robin would be happy to conduct a call under no obligation.