Osteopathy and migraine

On Thursday of last week I spent a very informative and enjoyable day at a symposium organised by the City of London Migraine Clinic The subject was the link between female hormone cycles and migraine. Now as one of my patients asked “what can you do about that as an Osteopath?”, which I found a little difficult to answer at first. However after spending the day with the doctors and nurses at the lectures it struck me that whilst osteopaths are not in a position to treat hormonal related migraine we do have a lot to offer in treating the huge number of cases of migraine where hormonal changes only play a small part.

The medical approach is very much linked to the use of drugs to control oestrogen levels, thus preventing the shifts in balance that can trigger the migraine attack. However the main point was that it was not overly high or overly low oestrogen levels that cause the headache, rather the individuals susceptibility to change that was of greater importance. The complexity of the individual and what led to their fine tolerance was not explored deeply but as an osteopath I would like to see further exploration of this area. Using the concept that the body is a self-regulating mechanism this would suggest that the body’s attention is elsewhere or that the individual is dealing with significant other challenges making them more vulnerable to migraine attack. By identifying those risk factors, lifestyle, diet, stress etc we can maybe make a change for the better and increase the individual tolerance to tiny changes.

Let me know what you think..


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