Painkillers can be a real headache

Painkillers aren't the only answer to headaches.

Painkillers aren't the only answer to headaches.

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THERE are other means of dealing with headaches than painkillers therapists have said.

Their call comes after a warning was issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that up to a million people in the UK may suffer “completely preventable” severe headaches caused by taking too many painkillers.

The NICE panel concluded “medication overuse headaches” felt the same as other common headaches or migraines.

It recommended the use of acupuncture in some circumstances.

Prof Martin Underwood, from Warwick Medical School, who led the NICE panel, said: “This could end up getting into a vicious cycle where your headache gets worse, so you take more painkillers, so your headache gets worse and this just becomes worse and worse.”

And osteopath Sarah Wheildon, a member of the British Osteopathic Association, who works at Thornton Osteopathic Clinic, on Victoria Road East, Thornton, says there are alternative remedies and urged people to think before just reaching for the pain-killers.

She said: “Tension-type headache is 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. I

“If someone suffers from headaches it may be because tension has built up in a particular area of the body causing an imbalance.

“Osteopaths look to find the cause of the tension and seek to relieve it helping the body return to its natural state.

“Other lifestyle factors – such as poor posture at a desk or tiredness – can lead to tension-type headaches. Osteopaths look to relieve this tension and give advice on posture and exercises to do to help prevent the tension 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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