If you are struggling with headaches it is important to seek out a registered qualified healthcare professional that can quickly help to give you pain relief.

More than 10 million people in the UK get headaches, making them one of the most common health complaints, but most are easily treated with osteopathy.

Simple mechanical headaches often come from tightness at the base of the skull/ top of the spine. These “cervicogenic” or tension headaches are commonly borne from a combination of muscle tightness and poor joint motion and may even involve entrapment of certain nerves which when compressed can cause pain. These are often called stress headache and may even cause symptoms of dizziness. Manipulative osteopathy is a good way to relax this tightness and ease the pain.

At Chhabra Osteopathy we provide a team of registered qualified healthcare professionals that can quickly help to give you pain relief from your headache.

Most headaches aren’t serious and can be treated with pharmacy remedies and lifestyle changes, such as getting more rest and drinking enough fluids, as well as manual therapy such as osteopathy. But what causes headaches? See below for what NHS UK say are the main ones.

Causes of Headache

Headaches have many different causes but can generally be split into two types:

  • primary headaches – those not due to another underlying health problem
  • secondary headaches – which have a separate cause, such as illness

Primary headaches

Tension headaches

Tension headaches are the most common, and what we think of as normal everyday headaches.

They feel like a dull ache with constant pressure around the front, top and sides of the head as if a rubber band has been stretched around it and sometimes cause headache behind the eyes.

Stress is one cause, but there are lots of others, including drinking too much alcohol, not getting enough sleep, depression, skipping meals and becoming dehydrated.


Migraines are less common. If a severe headache is recurrent and disabling to the point of stopping you from carrying on with daily life, it may be a migraine.

People describe migraines as a pounding or throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head.

Most people treat their migraines successfully with over-the-counter medication. If they’re severe, however, you may need stronger migraine-specific medication that is only available on prescription from a doctor.

Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches are another type of primary headache. These excruciatingly painful headaches cause an intense pain around one eye. They’re rare and are called cluster headaches because they happen in clusters for a month or two at a time around the same time of year and can feel like constant or persistent headache.

Pharmacy medications don’t ease the symptoms of a cluster headache, but a doctor can prescribe specific treatments to ease the pain.

Secondary headaches

These include headaches that come on after drinking too much alcohol or after a head injury or concussion.

You may also get a headache when you’ve had:

  • A cold
  • The flu
  • An allergic reaction
  • Sinusitis

Medication and painkiller headaches

Some headaches are a side effect of taking a particular medication and frequent headaches can also be caused by taking too many painkillers.

Hormone headaches

Headaches in women are often caused by hormones, and many women notice a link with their periods. The Pill, the menopause and pregnancy are also potential triggers.

Temporo-mandibular joint disorders (Jaw pain)

Headaches are one of the symptoms of temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) disorders which affect the joint between the lower jaw and the base of the skull.

It has been estimated that approximately 20-30% of the adult population will experience a TMJ disorder at some point.

Osteopathy can help successfully treat these TMJ dysfunctions.

Giant cell arteritis (temporal arteritis)

Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a condition in which medium and large arteries, usually in the head and neck, become inflamed. It usually affects adults over 60 years old.

Giant cell arteritis should be regarded as a medical emergency and you should contact your GP immediately if you suddenly develop:

  • a severe headache
  • jaw pain when eating
  • blurred or double vision
  • a sore scalp

Other secondary causes of headache may originate from ears, eyes or teeth.

Our osteopaths will consider your headache symptoms, offer an accurate clinical diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan to help alleviate your head pain as quickly as possible.

Given that quick pain relief is top of most peoples list, we at Back On Track Healthcare provide three clinics in Surrey and South West London, offering osteopathic treatment for headaches and can usually find you an appointment within 24 hours including early and late slots or weekend appointments.

Our osteopaths are fully insured and registered with the General Osteopathic Council. They have a wide experience base and use a variety of techniques to achieve the best results. Combining massage techniques, joint manipulation, electrotherapy and a rehabilitation exercise régime, our osteopaths take a look at you from a holistic perspective to ensure the best possible care is given. Every individual is treated differently and we personalize our treatment plan so that is tailored to your lifestyle.

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