Based on research, an estimated 20% of the population suffers from daily, or weekly, headaches and common migraines. Occurring more often in women than men, migraine affects approximately 25% of women and 8% of men some time in their lives.
They are different from other headaches because they occur with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and sensitivity to light. An episode can last hours, days, or weeks, which can leave the sufferer virtually disabled for that particular time duration. An attack can be induced by various triggers, including bright light, certain food items, and alcohol. Migraine can cause depression and psychological problems, however it's not often caused by psychological factors. In severe cases your G.P. may refer you to a neurologist in order to rule out other causes of headache, such as sinus inflammation or a brain mass.
The headaches tend to start between the ages of 10 and 46 and normally have some genetic components. The genetic factors are due to skeletal imbalance problems that are passed on from generation to generation. It is these skeletal imbalance problems that are often missed and, if correctly diagnosed and treated, go a long way in reducing the chronic pain.
Migraines can sometimes be brought on by abnormal muscular activity causing compression, thereby shifting blood flow and changing the electrochemistry of the head. There are many causes of this muscular imbalance: a genetic component as mentioned above, a history of trauma or even an undiagnosed jaw problem.
Patients who suffer from Migraines that have been inadequately or incorrectly diagnosed are usually told it results from stress, or a sinus problem or perhaps some residual, lingering effect of an accident they had years ago. Sadly, a sizeable number of these patients are recommended to use popular pain medications which do not necessarily address the root causes of the pain.
Due to the knowledge of anatomy and physiology (function of the body), osteopaths have the skills to address the root cause of the problem. By addressing the muscular and skeletal imbalances osteopaths are in a position to provide you with a better understanding of the cause and as a result to provide you with effective treatment.