An osteopathic physician approaches and treats medical conditions by examining the body as a whole. These doctors examine how the various systems in your body relate and connect. Understanding your lifestyle and environmental factors are a huge part of the process. It’s what allows for the success of osteopathic doctors, especially when it comes to treating headaches.
Headaches affect more than 45 million Americans. There is no known cause for them, leaving people missing out on work and time with their families due to the pain. If you suffer from frequent headaches, an osteopath can help.
Diagnosis From an Osteopathic Professional
Before your osteopath can start treatment, a proper diagnosis is needed. The doctor will ask for a thorough background of your medical history and a physical evaluation. They need to know everything they can about your headaches.
Be prepared to answer questions concerning:
- The onset of the headache
- How frequently you get them
- How long a headache episode lasts
- What the headache feels like (throbbing, sharp, dull)
From these answers, your osteopath can determine what type of headaches you’re experiencing.
Osteopathic Treatment for Headaches
There are four types of treatments available: prophylactic, symptomatic, abortive, and a combination. Your osteopath will help you decide which is best for you.
- Abortive therapy focuses on reversing a headache once it has begun.
- Prophylactic treatment works to prevent and minimize headaches. This is accomplished through daily medications and certain lifestyle changes.
- Symptomatic concentrates on relieving your symptoms once they begin.
- The combination style uses a mixture of two or all the options mentioned above.
Your osteopath can also help with the treatment of migraine headaches. These are incredibly painful and the usual treatments do not suffice. Patients experience unilateral pain, meaning it is located on just one side. Other symptoms include:
- Light sensitivity
- Neck pain
Your osteopath works with you to create a comprehensive treatment plan. This plan includes medication, lifestyle changes, and behavior modifications. The worse and more frequent your migraines are, the more severe your osteopathic treatment will be. It’s also recommended that you avoid certain foods and drinks. This includes fast food, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and others.