Headache is a common cause for complaint in an office setting in which many of us spend long periods of time at a desk. Headaches fall under a large umbrella of names like tension headache, migraine, cluster headaches, menstrual migraine and the list goes on. All of these headaches, whatever you choose to label them, have similar features and can be quite debilitating.Many people report that they can identify triggers that will almost certainly result in a headache/ migraine and will try to avoid these triggers at all cost. Triggers such as fluorescent lights in the office, spicy food, the menstrual cycle in women and even red wine are common. Imagine life without red wine! Our understanding of headaches has improved greatly over the years with help from specialists like Dean Watson of the Watson Headache Institute in Adelaide. Through his hours of clinical experience we now know as physiotherapists that the neck plays a significant role in the headache and migraine condition. Clinical experience tells us that the upper cervical spine has the ability to refer pain to the base of the skull and into the head.
So how do we know that physiotherapy would be effective on migraine and headache sufferers?
A skilled clinician can assess and find the joint in the neck that refers to YOUR headache. Not only will the clinician find the affected joint in the neck, but also be able to recreate your headache/ migraine symptoms temporarily. Like an on/off switch, locating the problem neck joint can produce a headache with the application of precise techniques and alleviate the symptoms when the technique is ceased. Not only will you be told that there’s a connection you will actually FEEL the connection. Results are expected within the first 5 treatment sessions regardless of however many years you’ve suffered headaches and migraines. It is expected that you will see an improvement in the condition whether it be reduced number of episodes or reduced intensity. Eventually you will be able to challenge those afore mentioned triggers like lights or wine without resulting in headaches or migraine. Complete resolution of the condition will take some work on your part and your physiotherapist will teach you ways to help you self manage to rid yourself of the burden for good. So raise a glass of red wine, and make a toast…. To your Physiotherapist Blair Chapman MPT, BHK Completed Level 2 Dean Watson Headache Course Physiotherapist Precision Physio, Surry Hills