Frequently asked questions

We like all our customers to feel prepared, assured, relaxed and comfortable with all aspects of their consultation. In order to make an informed choice about entrusting us with your head and its aches, you may find the following information useful.

What are the benefits of treatment?

In an audit of 47 headache sufferers treated by Janet, 42 reported:-

  • A reduction in headache days/duration
  • A reduction in severity
  • A reduction in medication used
  • A reduction of modifiable headache triggers and musculoskeletal stress
  • An increase of the Threshold tolerance at which headaches are triggered
  • An improvement in knowledge about headache prevention and self-management

Do you promise a cure for everyone?

No. Significant reductions in symptoms are more commonplace. However, with nearly 400 different types of headaches, osteopathy does not help everyone. However, if we cannot help you, we will do our utmost to capture the information needed to refer you onwards, to someone who can, through our detailed examination and consultation with you.

What types of headaches do you treat?

  • Tension Type
  • Migraine prevention
  • Headaches arising from the neck/shoulders/arms/back
  • Combination Headaches – so a combination of all of the above are frequently treated and often occur with tummy, back and/or jaw ache and associated stress and anxiety

What is a Medication Overuse Headache?

Rebound or Medication-induced headaches are associated with sufferers taking medications such as codeine, co-codamol, triptans, NSAIDS including ibuprofen and aspirin on more than 2 days per week. So yes, this does mean that Over the Counter and On Prescription drugs taken to alleviate your headaches (and other conditions) are now known to cause additional, typically “morning” headaches and are considered contributory in the progress from an intermittent to a chronic headache condition.

Your GP should discuss both preventative and rescue medication and may suggest a period of de-toxification or medication reduction/alteration. However, we are also here to help correctly diagnose, assess, examine and treat you naturally at the same time and offer management advice. Our Support Group also meets quarterly to share experiences and listen to invited speakers.

What are the risks of treatment and your normal patient reactions?

If there are any risks associated with our treatment, full information will be given and consent obtained following discussion of your treatment preferences and in consideration of your medical history.

From a recent clinical study of 47 of patients treated by Janet, the following patient reactions were noted:-

  • 6 reported that after their first treatment, the low level headaches that they came in with, worsened over the next few hours then resolved
  • 9 patients reported that they felt so relaxed that they “floated” out of the clinic, meaning that they had to wait 5 minutes before driving
  • 28 patients were advised to expect tenderness the next day, in their previously stiff shoulder muscles following treatment
Thus Janet advises all prospective patients to consider the timing of their first appointment, to allow for a period of time afterwards, to either savour the positive benefits of osteopathy or cope with a headache that needs to “come out”.

How many treatment sessions will be required?

For the occasional headache - which we all get sometimes – the use of medication - as a quick and effective short term fix can be the perfect solution.

However, for some persistent headache sufferers, there is usually a growing awareness that as a “whole” person, we are more than just a connection of tissues, bones and fluids and that our headaches usually represent the body’s own signalling mechanism and therefore it’s telling us that some element affecting our homeostatic balance is awry.

So rather than the quick fix treatment, some sufferers feel that further investigation is needed to identify the cause of the problem. However, in order, to address any modifiable elements, your time, instinct and ongoing observations are needed and therefore most customers come in for 3-4 sessions. Speed of progress is directly related to modifiable triggers including how and where the body holds its stress or where there is inertia. We are indeed, unique individuals and everyone’s management of their headache will be different and ultimately depend on their experiences, instincts and plan of action.

If in doubt, why not come in for a “Try it and see” session or view a customer’s story recently published in Challenging Migraine about our successful approach or come to one of our Support Group events.

View customer's story here - (pages 8-10)

What clothing should I wear and do I need to remove?

Both you and your muscles need to feel warm and comfortable. You’ll need to take off any shoes, coats and jumpers. Therefore I suggest ladies wear a strappy vest or t-shirt on top of their bras and bring a hair band to put any long hair “up”. Gentleman will need to remove their shirts but we have an awesome supply of towels to drape around and keep you warm during treatment, so you should not feel exposed. As part of your examination, I’ll need to briefly tuck up any vests to see how your thoracic spine, ribs and vertebrae move, as I look at your posture and check your range of movement.