Look at the alternatives before you pop another pill

New guidelines from the National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) on the diagnosis and management of headaches claim that many people in the UK have “completely preventable” severe headaches caused by taking too many painkillers.

So what alternatives are there to continually popping pills? British Osteopathic Association Member Louise Sanders comments, “tension-type and neck related headaches are the most common form of headache. If you suffer from tension-type headache, then regular gentle exercise will almost certainly help – such as yoga, Pilates, swimming, walking. Some people find it hard to relax and probably don’t realise how tense they are. If someone suffers from headaches it may also be neck related due to stiffness or restrictions of the neck. Osteopaths look to find the cause of tensions or stiffness and seek to relieve it by helping the body achieve more mobility and flexibility. 

“Other lifestyle factors such as poor posture at a desk or tiredness can lead to tension-type or neck related headaches. Osteopaths look to relieve this tension and give advice on posture and exercises to do to help prevent the tension or stiffness from building up. For example we would recommend taking regular breaks from sitting at a computer desk for long periods of time or prolonged driving. Any persistent or sudden severe headache should always be checked by a GP first.”

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