Could Your Headache Be A Pain In The Neck?

New Body Osteopathy Osteopathy

This article was written for We Are The City – 12 April 2013.

Wow, 5,483 of you have read this.

It’s no wonder you’ve got a headache – managing a busy work schedule of endless meetings, emails, reports, travel, wanting to perform your best at all times in a high pressure environment, not to mention juggling a social life & family activities.

Having a headache a few times a week is ‘normal’…..isn’t it???

The World Health Organisation recently reported that headaches and migraines are under-recognised and under-diagnosed and it is costing the world’s economy £140 billion a year.

Did you know?

Research has shown that, ‘“spinal manipulation has an effectiveness similar to prescription medication for the treatment of migraine.’”

In other words: Having a monthly treatment of osteopathy is as effective as taking a daily prescription drug, without the potential side-effects.  What’s more, manipulation was shown to have a longer lasting benefit once both therapies stopped. It also helps relieve headaches resulting from dysfunction in the soft tissue structures of the neck.

The WHO recently reported that 47 per cent of adults have headache related disorders with an estimated 190 million days lost from work in the European Union alone because of migraine.

Millions of women suffer from migraine headaches in fact they affect one in six women and one in 12 men.

How debilitating are they?

A migraine attack leaves 90 per cent of suffers unable to perform even the most simple of tasks, almost three-quarters have limited ability to work and half miss work entirely. The condition disrupts family life and can even force sufferers to cancel business and social activities. Migraine also poses an emotional burden, as sufferers say that no one understands how painful their migraine headaches are.

I meet patients on a weekly basis suffering from headaches ranging from a constant dull ache to the debilitating migrainous kind that have them bed ridden for at least 24 hrs. Many patients suffering from the latter feel slaves to the commonly prescribed medications called “triptans” which help them to manage their migraine headaches. Triptans are designed to specifically treat migraine headaches and whilst effective, many don’t like the idea of taking medication or their associated side-effects.  Lindsay was one such patient, working long hours as a Management Consultant in the City medication to manage her migraines had become a daily routine. When Lindsay first came to see me she had experienced 30 migraine attacks in under two months, needless to say she was not in a good place. Having taken a full case history & discussed associated triggers, diet & lifestyle we began treatment.

Like many suffers of headaches the structures in Lindsay’s neck, upper back and shoulders were not in their healthiest of states which exacerbated her symptoms. Within just two treatments involving gentle manipulation of the neck and upper back, soft tissue work & joint mobilisation Lindsay reported feeling a 90 per cent improvement. After two months of weekly treatments she had only experienced one migraine which did not require medication.

Spinal manipulation is accepted as a treatment for not only migraines but also cervicogenic headaches, where the cervical spine (neck) is the primary source of pain.

Lindsay and I now meet once a month and the incidence of attacks have continued to reduce in both frequency and severity.

Patients with chronic headaches should consider seeing an osteopath to examine and determine whether spinal manipulation is a viable treatment option.

For more information or advice on any symptoms you may have call 0207 177 0207 or visit

Author Bio:

Zoe Mundell M.Ost, DPO, ND
Zoe is the Principle Osteopath and Director of New Body Osteopathy.  A qualified Paediatric Osteopath, Naturopath, Medical Acupuncturist, Pilates Practitioner and Personal Trainer, Zoe has a natural desire to optimise health, nutrition and wellness.