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Preventing Migraines

Preventing Migraines

Migraines are not just headaches: they can come with a number of additional symptoms.

Symptoms of migraines

Symptoms of Migraine

Not every migraine will include every symptom, and not every symptom will be present at the same time. Most symptoms last under an hour but the headache can last longer.

  • A throbbing headache on one side of the head or focused over an eye
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Altered sensation in the arm or jaw area
  • Visual aura preceding the headache

Migraines are still not fully understood. The two main theories accepted today are that they are caused by nerves or blood vessels. However, there seem to be a number of associated factors that vary from person to person.

Factors that may lead to Migraines

Keeping a food diary can be a great way of spotting triggers. A huge array of ingredients have been associated with migraines, so pinning down any that specifically affect you is important. Another common factor is sleep: both too much and not enough.

Stress is often cited as a factor in migraines, with some people finding their symptoms come on as soon as they are put in a stressful situation. The link between stress and migraines could lie in tension. If your body responds to stress by tensing your shoulders and neck, this might have a direct effect on the nerves and vessels considered responsible for migraine. Osteopaths are qualified to help with the management of tension in muscles.


You may find that if you feel the first symptoms of a migraine coming on, you can halt its progression yourself. Often this means lying in a dark room or taking some medication, but this doesn’t work for everyone.

Some patients find that manual therapy is more effective in reducing their migraines than medication. Alongside the aforementioned management of tense muscles, osteopaths can work on joints to improve the function of the musculoskeletal system as a whole. This may help to reduce frequency or intensity of migraines.

If you suffer from migraines, book an appointment so we can find what works for you.

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