Osteopathic Manipulation: The Drug-Free Remedy for Chronic Migraines and Other Headaches
January 12, 2022

Chronic migraines and headaches can be difficult to treat. Determining the type of problem from which you suffer, and the triggers, can be downright tricky. What if we told you there might be a better way to prevent and treat your painful headaches or migraines?

Dr. Johnston at the Osteopathic Wellness Center performs a drug-free headache remedy known as osteopathic manipulation. This hands-on technique can be used along with, or possibly instead of, medications and other headache treatments. Here are the essentials every headache and migraine sufferer should know.

Migraine and headache overview
Pressure or pain in your head is known as a headache and can range from mild to moderate in severity. Headaches can occur on one or both sides of your head. The pain can be in one specific region, such as in your forehead, back of the head, or temples, or it can happen all over. Headaches can be short, lasting about 30 minutes, or they can be longer and stick around for up to a week. Headache types include sinus, cluster, and tension.

Migraines can range from moderate to severe in intensity and can last for a few days to weeks. Most migraines are specific to one side of the head. However, some people experience migraines that cause pain equally on both sides.

Along with pain, migraines can cause nausea, vomiting, light or sound sensitivity, temporary vision loss, and seeing flashing lights or spots. If you suffer from migraines, you can start having symptoms such as depression, irritability, neck stiffness, and unusual food cravings up to a day or two before a migraine begins.

What is osteopathic manipulation?
Osteopathic manipulation is a hands-on technique used by osteopathic physicians, called DOs. DOs believe that all functions in your body are connected, which means that struggling with recurrent headaches and migraines might be related to changes in your muscles, organs, or tissues. To perform osteopathic manipulation, Dr. Johnston uses his hands to gently move your tissues and joints to restore alignment, range of motion, and health.

Different techniques are used to work on specific structures in your body. Some methods work on soft tissues to stretch and place pressure on your muscles. Other techniques work in a push-pull manner to move your muscles in a specific direction.

The myofascial release technique uses firm pressure to release the layer of connective tissue around your muscles, bones, and organs. The final method is known as cranial manipulation and consists of soft pressure being applied to your skull, which stimulates healing.

Does osteopathic manipulation hurt?
When done right, this hands-on technique shouldn’t hurt. Our physician will place his hands on your body to apply light pressure, stretching, and resistance over areas that might be out of alignment and trigger your headache symptoms. There are many techniques that Dr. Johnston uses to treat headaches, and some may look similar to what you might think a massage therapist or chiropractor uses.

Benefits of osteopathic manipulation
The number one benefit of osteopathic manipulation is that it can ease the pain and other symptoms of headaches and migraines. Not only can it treat the pain, but you might also notice a decrease in the frequency of headache symptoms. An added benefit is that osteopathic manipulation can decrease the amount of medicine you need or even eliminate the need for drug therapy.

Am I a good candidate?
Osteopathic manipulation is beneficial to people of every age. If you suffer from other conditions that affect your bones or joints, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, you may need a gentler form of treatment. Part of your consultation with Dr. Johnston will include a comprehensive review of your medical history and past treatments to make sure osteopathic manipulation is right for you.

Are you ready to schedule your consultation with Dr. Johnston to find out if you’re a good candidate for osteopathic manipulation? Give our office a call or click on “request appointment” today to get closer to headache and migraine relief the drug-free way.