Woman holding head because of migraine pain

Migraine headaches are a type of debilitating headache that can cause intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and other uncomfortable symptoms. This often presents as migraine neck pain, migraine eye pain or even migraine jaw pain. Migraines can significantly affect a person’s quality of life, and finding effective treatments to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines is crucial for those who suffer from them. While there are various approaches to managing migraines, one lesser-known but effective option is osteopathic treatment provided by a Manual Osteopathic Practitioner. In this article, we will explore how osteopathy can help reduce migraine pain and frequency, and why it is worth considering as a treatment option.

Understanding Migraines

Migraines are not just ordinary headaches; they are a complex neurological condition that involves the blood vessels, nerves, and brain chemicals. They often cause throbbing or pulsating pain on one side of the head, which can last for hours or even days. Migraines can be triggered by various factors such as stress, hormonal changes, certain foods, lack of sleep, bright lights, and more. People who suffer from migraines often experience a wide range of symptoms in addition to the intense head pain, including nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, visual disturbances, and aura (a warning sign that a migraine is coming).

How Osteopathy Can Help

Osteopathy is a form of complementary medicine that focuses on the body’s musculoskeletal system and aims to restore its balance to promote overall health and well-being. Osteopathic treatment involves a holistic approach, taking into consideration the patient’s lifestyle, habits, and medical history to identify and address the root causes of their health issues.

Osteopathic treatment for migraines typically involves gentle manipulations to the body’s muscles, joints, and bones to relieve tension, reduce inflammation, and restore normal function. The osteopath may use a variety of techniques, including soft tissue massage, joint mobilization, stretching, and craniosacral therapy, which focuses on the skull and its surrounding tissues. These techniques aim to improve blood flow, release muscle tension, and reduce nerve irritation, which can contribute to migraine pain.

One of the main areas of focus in osteopathic treatment for migraines is the neck and upper back. Tension and restrictions in the muscles and joints of the neck and upper back can contribute to migraine triggers and pain. Osteopathic manipulations and adjustments in these areas can help release tension, improve range of motion, and reduce irritation to the nerves that may be contributing to migraines.

In addition to physical techniques, osteopathic treatment may also involve lifestyle and postural advice to help patients identify and avoid triggers that may be contributing to their migraines. For example, an osteopath may provide guidance on stress management techniques, proper posture, and ergonomics to minimize triggers and reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.

Benefits of Osteopathic Treatment for Migraines

There are several benefits to considering osteopathic treatment for migraines:

  1. Non-Invasive: Osteopathic treatment is a non-invasive approach to managing migraines, which means it does not involve surgery or medication. This can be appealing to those who prefer a more natural and holistic approach to their health.
  2. Holistic Approach: Osteopathy takes into consideration the whole person, including their lifestyle, habits, and medical history. This holistic approach can help identify and address the root causes of migraines, rather than just treating the symptoms.
  3. Personalized Treatment: Osteopathic treatment is tailored to each individual patient based on their unique needs and condition. The osteopath will assess the patient’s body and lifestyle to develop a plan.

If you would like more information on how one of our experienced Osteopathic Practitioners may assist you, please feel free to click the link below for a FREE 15min Phone Consultation.

Meet our Osteopathic Practitioners


Patrick Suwala

Patrick Suwala

Patrick Suwala graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo in 2015 and then committed to an additional four years of osteopathic education at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy in Hamilton and graduated with a Master in Practice of Osteopathic Manipulative Sciences designation (M. OMSc.) from the school at the end of 2020.

Throughout his undergrad at the University of Waterloo, Patrick found his passion in learning the anatomy and physiology of the human body, and for four years he was a volunteer teaching assistant in the human cadaver labs on campus, teaching first year students and many external visitors, including graduate-level manual therapy students about the musculoskeletal structures of the human body.

Patrick quickly grew an appreciation for the art and science of the field of manual therapy through extracurriculars like swimming and playing waterpolo competitively, and decided that this was the right avenue for him to pursue.

Patrick also helps supervise student clinic and teach at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy in Hamilton.

Patrick belongs to the Ontario Osteopathic Association (OOA/OSTCAN) and is therefore recognized across all insurance providers in Ontario because of the association’s high standards.

Jenna Labranche

Jenna Labranche
Jenna earned her Master in Practice of Osteopathic Manipulative Sciences Diploma (M.OMSc) after completing a 4 year program at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy. Prior to becoming an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, Jenna completed her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Science, Honours Kinesiology at The University of Waterloo, earning her R.Kin.
Jenna has a love for sports, fitness, and being outdoors. She has been involved in sports since a young age including being a Competitive Dancer and Rep Softball player. After ongoing injuries and pain with no relief she was then introduced to Osteopathy which changed everything. Her experiences led her into expanding her knowledge of the human body to become an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner.

Serving the town of Milton since 2022, Jenna looks forward to bringing her skills to our team at Zen. Providing a holistic approach using the principles of Osteopathy, manipulation is applied gently to facilitate the body’s ability to self-heal and self-regulate. Through an individualized treatment and the understanding that the body is a dynamic unit of function, Jenna works with the interrelated systems of the body to bring health to the structures for optimal function. Investigating on the ‘why’ there is dysfunction and discover the root cause of the problem.

Combining her love and passion of the human body, being active, and helping others makes being an osteopathic manual practitioner both enjoyable and rewarding. Through extensive knowledge, empathy and understanding, her goal is to get you back to your daily activities and doing what you love!

Book a free 15 minute consultation to discuss your condition and how Osteopathy may be able to help