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Osteopathic treatment for
headaches and migraines 

Osteopathy offers a holistic approach to headaches and migraines, addressing the underlying causes and providing effective relief through manual techniques, postural correction, stress reduction, and personalised treatment plans.

Types of headache

Need help with Headaches and Migraines?

At Movement Mechanics Osteopathy, we provide effective treatment for migraines and headaches. Our experienced practitioners will thoroughly assess your condition, considering all potential contributing factors and triggers. With a personalised treatment plan, including osteopathic techniques, lifestyle modifications, and preventive strategies, we can help reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of your headache or migraine.

How Osteopathy Can Help Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are usually caused by stress and muscle tension, with patients complaining of pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck. Osteopathic treatment techniques, such as myofascial release and spinal manipulation, can help significantly reduce tension headaches' frequency, intensity, and duration. Our team will also look at the areas of your spine associated with the body's fight, fright and flight responses to help down-regulate the nervous system and have a calming, stress-reducing effect on your body.

tension headache osteopathy
cluster headache osteopath treatment

Expert Osteopathic Care for Intense, Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are intense debilitating headaches often causing pain around the eyes and head. Osteopathy can help reduce pain intensity, frequency, and duration of headaches. Your Osteopath will use soft tissue manipulation techniques such as inhibition, active release therapy and massage to help elevate symptoms. Some osteopaths will also use cranial osteopathy a part of a holistic approach to managing your cluster headaches.

Addressing Sinus Inflammation and Congestion

Sinus headaches are often associated with sinus inflammation and congestion caused by allergies or sinus infections. It often feels like dull pain or like pressure and affects your face and forehead – and sometimes behind or between your eyes. At Movement Mechanics Osteopathy, our experienced osteopaths focus on improving overall sinus and cranial function. This includes sinus drainage and manual therapy, which can help address underlying sinus inflammation and congestion.

sinus headache osteopathic treatment
cervicogenic headache osteopath treatment auckland

Neck pain and headaches

Cervicogenic headaches are typically caused by musculoskeletal dysfunction in the neck region. Osteopathic treatments, such as spinal manipulation, soft tissue manipulation, and myofascial release, target the underlying neck and cervical spine issues. It helps improve cervical mobility, reduce muscle tension, and restore proper alignment, leading to symptom relief and improved overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Osteopathy?
    Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine. At Movement Mechanics, we draw from a vast pool of assessment, diagnosis and manual techniques to treat musculoskeletal complaints and triage systemic issues. We take a modern holistic approach to your health. We focus on medical imaging to help best inform and monitor the state of your injury, implement movement screening protocols to manage progression objectively and identify and address any contributing factors which would otherwise impact your recovery. We also tap into our network of healthcare providers to create a multi-modal patient-centred approach to your health.
  • What can Osteopaths help with?
    Osteopaths and Osteopathy can help with a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions including orthopaedic, rheumatic and degenerative complaints of joints and muscles. Osteopaths regularly deal with aches and pains of all areas of the body, headaches, shoulder pain, neck pain, pregnancy related pain, lower back and pelvic pain, sciatica, sports injuries, occupational strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, whiplash, tennis elbow, post surgical discomfort and rehabilitation, and also pre-surgical treatment and management. Osteopaths can also help with a range of medical conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux, irritable bowl syndrome (IBS), constipation, post surgical scar tissue, lymphatic drainage issues, and respiratory and circulatory problems. 
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions we may be able to help you.
  • Is Osteopathy safe?
    Osteopaths are primary healthcare providers who are able to identify cause and effect of various musculoskeletal injuries and other health conditions. An Osteopath is trained to identify any risks associated with particular treatment techniques. If there are risks associated with your condition we will explain these clearly and if necessary we will refer you to another health specialist. The techniques Osteopaths use are all hands on and are very safe, gentle and effective. Everybody is unique and responds differently to various treatment styles and osteopathy is able to adapt to what suits your presenting complaints. Osteopaths take a patient-centred approach to healthcare and ensure that your treatment is personalised to your needs, as what works for some others may not work for you. We will always endeavour to work within your comfort levels.
  • What can I expect during my consultation?
    The first visit to an osteopath will be similar to an initial visit to a GP. We will conduct a complete medical history, and questions will be asked about your presenting complaint and your health and lifestyle. During both assessment and treatment, you may be asked to remove some outer clothing and perform some simple movements. This is so we can accurately assess your biomechanics, identify any obvious impairment and thoroughly screen you. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when in the treatment room.
  • Do I need a referral from my GP?
    You do not need a referral from your GP; Osteopaths, just like GPs, are primary healthcare practitioners.
  • Does ACC cover my treatment?
    If your presenting complaint was caused by an accident within the past 12 months, you might be entitled to ACC subsides treatment and support. We are fully ACC registered and can submit ACC claims if needed. During our consultation, we will be able to ascertain whether your injury is likely to be eligible for an ACC subsidy. If you are coming to us with a current active ACC claim, please come equipped with your ACC number, date of injury and any imaging related to that injury.
  • Can an Osteopath lodge an ACC claim?
    Yes, any ACC-registered osteopath can lodge an ACC claim for you. Just let us know that you have had an accident and wish to lodge a claim and we will be able to assist. Please note we cannot guarantee your claim will be accepted by ACC.
  • What should I wear to my consultation?
    We ask that you wear loose-fitting clothes such as shorts and a t-shirt, as the physical examination and treatment procedures require moving around. Tighter clothing will restrict your joint range and make it harder for us to assess what is going on. In some instances, you may be asked to remove certain items of outer clothing to enable better access to these areas. Of course, we will always respect your modesty and provide you with a towel or blanket to cover yourself.
  • What do I need to bring to my appointment?
    If you have any imaging such as x-rays. MRI or ultrasound please bring those along. If you have any test results or relevant medical notes bring these with you. For babies, it may also be useful to bring their Plunket Book.
  • Does osteopathic treatment hurt?
    Most osteopathic treatment is gentle and should not cause high levels of pain or discomfort. At times, hands-on treatment of painful or tender areas will be necessary, and in these cases, your osteopath will take care to make you as comfortable as possible. Some people experience some soreness for a day or two after treatment as their body reacts and adjusts to the treatment. If this persists or increases, contact your osteopath to discuss it.
  • How long does a appointment take?
    This varies, but we allocate 30 minutes for our appointments this doesn't mean that the full 30 minutes are always needed and will be down to the discretion of the practitioner. In some cases, your initial consultation may be longer than a follow-up visit. If you feel that you may require a longer appointment, please advise your osteopath, and they will decide if it is needed, please note that longer sessions will incur additional fees.
  • How much will my osteopathic appointment cost?
    The costs of treatment vary from private consultation to ACC subsidised consultation as well as by the clinic I work out of Waitakere Health Hub Private consultations are $90 for a new patient or issue and $75 for a follow-up appointment With ACC initial consultations are $55 and follow-up consultations are $45. WOF HumanTrak biomechanical movement assessments $130 for both private and ACC related complaints. Many health insurances such as Southern Cross will reimburse or contribute to your fees depending on your policy, and we are Southern Cross Easy-claim registered. We also offer Afterpay for those who need to spread the cost of treatment over 4 interest-free fortnightly payments.
  • What training do osteopaths have?
    Although this can vary slightly depending on when and where the osteopath is trained, our osteopaths have all undertaken a 5-year university program consisting of a Bachelor of applied science (Human Biology) and a Master of Osteopathy. In addition, our osteopaths have undertaken a two-part graduate diploma in health (paediatrics) which enables them to legally treat patients under the age of 18. We all carry a current practising certificate from the Osteopathic Council of New Zealand are ACC registered and members of Osteopaths NZ.
  • Is Osteopathic treatment covered under medical insurance
    Most insurance providers cover Osteopathy. Movement Mechanics Osteopathy is Southern Cross affiliated for easy claims. However, if you are unsure if your specific covers osteopathy fully or partially it is best you contact them first to review your policy.
  • Do I need a referral?
    No referral is required. However, it is important to ensure that there is a clear diagnosis and that shock wave therapy is an appropriate treatment for your condition. We suggest booking a standard consultation with our osteopaths and they can determine if this is the right procedure for you. We do, however, accept referrals from other medical and allied health professionals.
  • What should I expect from Shockwave?
    Your clinician will locate the area of pain through palpation. This area will then be marked, and some ultrasound gel will be applied. The shockwave impulses are delivered using a handpiece. It takes about five minutes to deliver a single treatment. This is generally said to be uncomfortable (rather than painful) and is well tolerated by the vast majority of patients. The dose/intensity of the shocks can be turned up or down to make the procedure more tolerable. This process is generally repeated a total of three times - with a week between treatments. Some patients note an immediate improvement in their pain; however, the best results occur 12 weeks after the initial treatment. Depending on the site and severity of your condition, shockwave therapy can be uncomfortable. However, almost everyone can tolerate the treatment.
  • How long does a treatment last?
    Shockwave therapy treatments usually last between 3 to 5 minutes. If your Osteopath believes it is necessary, they may also add Osteopathic techniques into your treatment plan.
  • How effective is it?
    In some cases, e.g. those with Achilles tendinopathy or plantar fasciitis, shockwave is more effective than three months of traditional rehabilitation. Some patients note an immediate improvement in their pain; however, the best results occur 12 weeks after the initial treatment.
  • How many treatments are required?
    8 or 9 out of 10 patients will experience significant relief of symptoms within 3 – 5 treatments.
  • Are there any side-effects?
    The procedure is generally said to be uncomfortable (rather than painful) and is well tolerated by the vast majority of patients. However, in some situations, it can be quite unpleasant. Our team will work with you to try to minimise any pain or discomfort. Other than the pain felt during the procedure, the most common other side effect is local bruising or occasionally abrasions.
  • What should I do after treatment?
    The short answer is- not much. It’s possible that you may feel some discomfort following the treatment. Simple strategies such as rest and paracetamol may be helpful. Do not take anti-inflammatories (such as Nurofen or Voltaren), as these may interfere with the healing process kickstarted by the Shockwave therapy. Similarly, avoid icing the area. It’s also advisable to rest from aggravating activities for 2-3 days following each session.
  • Is all Shock Wave therapy the same?
    N‍ot all shockwave is the same It is important to realise that not all shockwave machines are the same and that your treatment is conducted in line with international best practices. Our Swiss Dolorclast machines have robust clinical data to support their use. A recent bench* test comparison study between the EMS DolorClast® Radial Shock Waves and the Storz MASTERPULS® 200 ultra demonstrates significant differences in energy output at higher frequency settings. * Reinhardt N, Wegenaer J, de la Fuente M. Influence of the pulse repetition rate on the acoustic output of ballistic pressure wave devices. Sci Rep 2022;12(1):18060.
  • Are there any contraindications to Shockwave therapy?
    Shockwave cannot be used in the following groups of people: Pregnant women Children under the age of 18 years, except in the case of Osgood-Schlatter’s disease People with blood clotting disorders People on blood thinners Treatment of tissue with local tumours or local bacterial and/or viral infections Treatment of patients who have used cortisone within preceding six weeks
  • What is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?
    While both methods incorporate the application of fine needles to stimulate particular areas of the body, dry needling primarily targets myofascial trigger points to alleviate muscle tension and discomfort. In contrast, acupuncture draws on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) principles and seeks to harmonise energy flow along specific meridians within the body. At Movement Mechanics Osteopathy, we use both Western Medical Acupuncture & Dry Needling Techniques. Western Medical Acupuncture is an adaptation of traditional Chinese acupuncture, incorporating principles and techniques from both Eastern and Western medicine. Western Medical Acupuncture aims to provide a scientific and evidence-based approach to acupuncture, utilising anatomical knowledge, neurophysiological concepts, and research evidence to guide treatment decisions. It is often used as a complementary therapy alongside conventional medical treatments for various conditions, including pain management, musculoskeletal disorders, and certain chronic conditions.
  • Is dry needling safe?
    When administered by a qualified and experienced Osteopath, dry needling is typically considered safe. Nonetheless, similar to any medical intervention, potential risks or side effects may exist. Your therapist will thoroughly address and explain these matters before commencing the treatment.
  • What will I experience?
    We use premium Japanese needles that are very thin, and you may or may not feel the needle enter your skin. If the muscle being needled is tight and/or sensitive, you will feel a cramping or twitch sensation. This is very short-lasting, and patients soon learn to recognise this sensation as therapeutic as it is followed by a feeling of pain relief and muscle relaxation. The practitioner usually manually stimulates the needle to bring on an achy sensation called De Qi.
  • Are there any side effects?
    The most common side effect is temporary muscle soreness after the treatment. This typically lasts for a day or two, and your clinician will instruct you on minimising this. There are other less common side effects, such as bruising and nerve irritation. If you have any questions about side effects, please discuss this with your clinician.
  • What are some of the risks to Acupuncture & Dry needling?
    While the risks are very small, there are some risks to consider when having Acupuncture or Dry Needling. Pneumothorax: This occurs when the needle pierces the lung. The possibility is remote as our clinicians will needle with caution near lung fields, but they will advise you when they are in this area. If you feel short of breath or pain with breathing after a needling session in this area, visit your local Emergency Department immediately. Vasovagal reaction: This rarely occurs and is the most common form of fainting, usually recurrent to a specific trigger (which can be dry needling). This usually resolves with a few minutes of rest and some sugar intake. Ensuring you are hydrated, rested and have eaten a meal in the past 6 hours reduces this risk. If you have had a fainting episode from needling/injections in the past, please inform our clinicians. Infection: The possibility is present, even though it is remote. Our clinicians will maintain the highest standard for clean and sterile needling techniques. However, it is an entry wound for infection to occur, similar to any injection you have had in the past. Keep the wound clean until it heals. Neuropraxia: This type of nerve injury is characterised by a temporary disruption in the normal conduction of nerve impulses. It is the mildest form of nerve injury and can occur when a needle hits a nerve. Neuropraxia can lead to symptoms such as temporary loss of sensation, muscle weakness, or changes in reflexes in the affected area. However, the nerve fibres remain intact, and with time and appropriate management, neuropraxia often resolves independently without long-term damage.
  • Do I have to wear a medical mask?
    Yes. The Ministry of Health guidelines put us into a different risk category. We require all our patients to wear a medical-grade mask. If you have a single-use mask, please ensure that you only use it once. Wearing a mask is an easy thing we can do to minimise the risk to you and us further!
  • What if I have a runny nose?
    Your appointment is conditional on having no COVID symptoms and no close contacts in the past ten days. If you are exhibiting any cold or flu-like symptoms or awaiting COVID testing/test results, please call the clinic to cancel your appointment. If you think you may have been exposed to coronavirus, please do not come to the clinic; instead, call Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor immediately.
  • Do we have to contact trace?
    Under the new government guidelines, you no longer have to contact trace. But we do require you to wear a mask to your consultation.

Still have questions? Email hello@movementmechanics.nz

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