Headaches and Migraines


Most headaches are a mild inconvenience and will resolve with a glass of water, fresh air and a good nights’ sleep. Others unfortunately do not.

Here we offer a drug free option for common Primary Headache Disorders. If you have had your head pain for more than 6 months we would be delighted to help using traditional Osteopathy and Cranial Osteopathy.

Initial consultation lasts one hour. . There are more than 150 different classifications of headaches and migraines. We need to determine wether your headache/migraine falls into Primary ( Migraine, Tension-Type, Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalgic or others),  or Secondary headache.( Due to Trauma, Cranial or Cervical Vascular disorders, Substance withdrawal, related to Infection and many others which may be found below on the International Classification of Headache Disorders 3rd Edition, ICHD-3 Website  Then distinguish varietals between Migraine, with or without Aura, the List goes on. When case history is completed we recommend a treatment plan that  suits your requirements. 

Treatment plans require between 4 – 8 visits, however after 3 visits we will re-assess the validity of our diagnosis and treatment plan.

What are we looking for?

As Osteopaths specialising in treatment of headaches we are looking for potential triggers for the recurring or constant headache. Clues may be picked up in the initial case history. Also with the first and subsequent assessments. Reaction to treatment given, often guides us to potential causes. These may be physical anomalies or postural issues. They may also be caused by work related reasons or Exercise regimes. Most people are aware that stress is also a precursor.

If you feel you would benefit from a consultation please email appointments@theosteopath.net for an appointment


Treatment of patients with headaches takes a whole body approach. A combination of soft tissue techniques, articulation, manipulation, stretching and gentle Cranial Osteopathy plus advice on stretching exercise and correct posture and seating positions.

Treatment can be tailored to the individual. Very gentle Cranial Osteopathy focusing on the whole body Fascia dura and its relationship with skull and internal Dura Mater. We also work with Postural rebalancing which may involve exercises. There may be soft tissue work correcting shortened muscle lengths with trigger point treatments. We can also gently  manipulate joints that have become restricted and function poorly. 

If you fall into any of the categories below please seek Medical attention from either your GP or A&E.

  • Recent head trauma
  • ‘Thunderclap’ severe pain within 5 minutes
  • Over 50 with a new headache
  • Confusion/memory loss
  • Fever/rash/neck stiffness

More About Headaches

Tension Type Headaches 80%

Often associated with the structures of the neck, stress and posture. They can be simple to treat and respond quickly to effective hands on treatment, exercises and acupuncture.

Migraines 15%

Migraines are a genetic functional disorder of the nervous system. There is currently no cure. But there is much that can be done to help. Many suffer occasionally and respond well to medication like triptans. Others, however find themselves in a cycle of frequent attacks which have a major impact on their lives. They try a range of treatments and struggle to cope. For those wanting to try drug free treatments, we will navigate you through understanding your migraines, discuss your lifestyle, nutritional supplements and your treatment options. With so many potential contributing factors, we will give a defined treatment plan and realistic expectations.

Treatment with us includes expert care in Cranial osteopathy, Watson technique and Acupuncture.

Cephalgias 1%

Cluster Headaches are the most well known of this group of headaches. Fortunately they are by far the smallest group but are the most severe. There are better treatments than ours for theses type of headaches. For this type of headache we will refer on to Specialist Headache Neurologists and more appropriate treatments.

Its never been a better time to be a headache sufferer. The fantastic work of the worldwide medical community over the last decade has given a much better understanding on the causes, the pathophysiology and better treatments.

Many patients present at the clinic with neck pains, back pains and related headaches and migraines. We are lucky to be able to help many of our patients to overcome and prevent the onset and recurrence of some headaches and migraines by addressing the root causes. We hope the following article may help patients to determine if they may self help or seek our assistance.

Headaches originating from the Neck (Cervicogenic-Cephalgia)

These are benign headaches unrelated to increased inter-cranial pressure, infection or haemorrhage. They usually begin as a vague ache in the base of the head (occipital area) or top of the neck. Within hours, it progresses over the top of the skull to involve the entire head. People may complain of pain behind the eyes on one or both sides. The headache usually worsens as the day progresses yet improves with lying down and sleeping. If severe it may trigger Migraine style symptoms of nausea, photophobia or vomiting. There are a number of trigger areas for the onset of this these forms of headaches.

  • Muscular attachments from Cervical or Thoracic Spine to the periosteum of the occiput
  • Restricted Facet joints in the cervical spine
  • Restricted function of the Cervical or Thoracic Spine
  • Restriction of blood supply
  • Poor venous drainage from the Intracranium
  • Dural restrictions within the Cervical Spine and internal cranium
  • Restricted function of the joints of the various yet distinct 29 bones of the skull

The causes are often a combination of poor seating postures, weak abdominals, long hours in front of a computer and also stress.

Treatment of patients with headaches takes a whole body approach. A combination of soft tissue techniques, articulation, manipulation, stretching and gentle cranial Osteopathy plus advice on stretching exercise and correct posture and seating positions.

A full discussion of headaches in their various forms would fill an extremely large textbook. It is well beyond the scope of this article to encompass all the causes of headaches and or migraines. Therefore this presentation is limited to the poorly understood but surprisingly common phenomenon of headaches originating from the neck.