Case Studies - Osteopathic Treatment

Explaining what Osteopathy is, and what we do, can be quite difficult. This is due to the fact that every single person we treat is different!! There are even significant differences between osteopaths - different areas of expertise, varying treatment approaches etc. 


We want to show actual case studies of patient presentations, examination findings, treatments, and advice given, to help you better understand how we, the Osteopaths at Chadstone Region Osteopathy, may be able to help you!

Presenting complaint: Neck and shoulder pain, with daily headaches and eventual migraines


Patient details: 35yr old female, 2 young kids, working full time. 


Complaint history: Recurrent episodes of migraines, headaches most days for the past 2 years. Takes Nurofen/Panadol most days. Takes days off work when experiencing migraines (nausea, extreme sensitivity to light). Has seen neurologist - more medications, minimal effect.


Additional details: Full time work in stressful job. No time to herself between work and young kids. Exercises once a week if she's lucky.


Examination findings: Seated posture - head held forward, shoulders rounded, slumped upper back. Resultant muscle strains, and associated joint compression and stiffness at base of skull. Tender through muscles supporting the skull and jaw (which reproduced her familiar daily headaches.)


Diagnosis: Chronic recurrent cervicogenic headaches, triggering classic migraines. Caused primarily by postural muscle strains, aggravated by stress-related clenching, carrying and chasing young kids at home.


Osteopathic treatment applied: Massage to tight and tender neck muscles. Dry needling to trigger points across shoulders. Joint mobilisation throughout the neck and upper back. Stretching of muscles through neck and shoulders.


Advice: Developed stretch routine to be implemented at work during the day to help reduce accumulating muscle tensions across the neck and shoulders. Showed self-massage techniques for the jaw, and neck to perform in the shower / in bed.


Treatment plan: Show additional self-treatment options including spiky massage ball and foam roller. Build rehab program to emphasise regular stretching, and strengthening of supporting musculature via resistance bands. 


Outcomes: Immediate improvement to self-reported pain levels at the conclusion of the treatment. "Looser, lighter, no headache". Significant improvement to neck range of motion, and easier to position into better posture.

*Long term outcome was a significant reduction in the severity and frequency of migraines, down to 1-2 per year, rather than per month. We performed a total of 4 additional osteopathic treatments over the next 2 months, eliminating her daily headaches, with no need for continuing treatment.


These cases are de-identified, and many unnecessary details have been removed. Every case is different, and as such should not be used as guarantees of outcomes. Medicine is not a perfect science unfortunately!!