Skip to: main navigation | main content | sitemap | accessibility page


Frequently asked questions

How can my bite be involved in me getting headaches?

Many causes of headache are linked to damage to the jaw joints; indeed, patients who think they have a persistent headache can in fact have temporomandibular (or jaw joint) dysfunction (TMD). This is a painful inflammation in the jaw joints and the muscles that attach to it. The most common cause of these symptoms is a poor bite, rather than an accident.

How will you treat me if my bite is a part of my problem?

We use a wide variety of approaches including joint massage, anti-inflammatory drugs, intraoral splints, occlusal adjustment and orthodontic care to allow your joints to settle and give you a good bite again.

What is an intraoral splint?

This is a plastic mouth guard, which is fitted over your teeth. It is worn either at night or full time. Splints can be soft - to cushion your bite, giving your jaw joints a chance to settle. Another type is made with a hard biting surface to help restore a damaged bite. Mark Brickley will discuss the details of each type if a splint would help you.

Why is a psychotherapist part of the team?

Many people who suffer headaches are holding tension in their bodies, sometimes over many years. These tensions can become so familiar that we are almost unaware of them. Our emotions often contribute to such long-term tensions, which in turn may express themselves as headaches. Gentle techniques are used to help clients recognise and accept the emotional and mental factors, which may be contributing to the physical condition. Once the 'message' of the symptoms has been understood, appropriate strategies and life style changes are suggested to help manage symptoms and support a return to health and wellbeing.

Does this mean that my headache is 'all in the mind'?

Absolutely not! However, when we talk through emotional issues, the body can relax and let go those tensions. This has a proven beneficial effect in complementing the chiropractic and orthodontic components of your treatment.

Does everyone coming to The Headache Clinic need psychotherapy?

During the initial assessment session, Judith O'Hagan will discuss if psychotherapy would be helpful as part of your treatment plan.

How many sessions will I need?

This can vary. For many people just two or three sessions are enough. For others, additional sessions are useful. The number and frequency of sessions is always open to review. Judith O'Hagan is happy to discuss this with you.

What about ethics and confidentiality?

We work as a team and share information.; however confidentiality is taken very seriously .and every member of the team works under the same obligations to patient privacy that apply to all registered healthcare professionals All records are securely stored. No information on patients is ever discussed or made available to anyone outside the team without your specific permission.

In addition, each team member is fully accredited by their recognised statutory professional body and bound by the strict ethical code laid down in law by them. Judith is accredited with United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and by the Centre for Transpersonal Psychotherapy. She works to the codes of conduct of both these organisations.

How can chiropractors treat headaches?

Patients with headaches regularly visit chiropractors, as there is good clinical evidence to show the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment of both migraines and cervicogenic headaches – that is, headaches arising from the joints and muscles of the cervical spine. By removing dysfunction from these parts of the body, chiropractors can rapidly resolve many types of headaches.

If chiropractors can treat headaches, why do I need to go to The Headache Clinic?

Many factors can contribute to the build up of dysfunction including posture, life style and ergonomics; there is also a close functional relationship between the jaw and the neck. Every day, your teeth touch together several thousand times; if there is a significant imbalance in the way in which they meet, this asymmetry can destabilise the neck, making it impossible to get lasting results from chiropractic alone.

When stress or other life style factors influence muscle tension or are responsible for patients clenching or grinding their teeth, this can again increase the rate at which symptoms return or even prevent healing taking place; psychotherapy can often deal with the causes or reactions to stress and rapidly remove these aggravating factors.

Are chiropractors fully qualified to a national standard?

In order to become a chiropractor, it is necessary to train full time for a minimum of four years to degree level. In the UK, the majority of chiropractors train for five years and to Masters level. All chiropractors are statutorily regulated by the General Chiropractic Council,, which is responsible for setting standards of education and clinical practice. In addition, all UK chiropractors must complete at least 30 hours' additional training each year in order to maintain their registration with the GCC.

What sort of head pain can you treat?

Although only cervicogenic headaches and migraine have currently been researched, our experience shows that patients with other forms of headaches also report relief from chiropractic treatment. This includes cluster and tension headaches, occipital neuralgia and atypical facial pain, often incorrectly diagnosed as facial or trigeminal neuralgia.

Do you just treat headaches?

It is true that the majority of our patients attend The Headache Clinic with head or face pain; however, we have also successfully treated patients with intractable back, neck and shoulder pain. There is also some limited evidence to suggest that jaw joint dysfunction as well as stress affects not just the neck, but other areas of the spine and musculoskeletal system; this is certainly supported by our own clinical experience. We are able to recommend and offer treatment that goes further than headache relief.