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Headaches and migraine treatment at the Dunedin Clinic

Overview

Some headaches and migraines can be short term and quite easily managed.

However many headaches and migraines are related to neck problems, and can be effectively treated with Physiotherapy.

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How we can help

Your neck could be the cause if:

  • Your headache or migraine is one sided
  • Your headache swaps sides during the same episode or between episodes
  • Your headache is always one side but as it worsens it spreads to be on the other side as well
  • Your headache or migraine starts in your neck or is accompanied by neck stiffness, soreness, or tenderness
  • Your headache or migraine is triggered or aggravated by neck movement or sustained neck positions, like sitting at a computer or driving

The diagnostic accuracy of the Watson Headache® Approach is unparalleled.

It can confirm if disorders in the upper neck are responsible for headache or migraine and determine the exact nature of the disorder as well as which spinal joints are involved.

There is no guesswork and no cracking or manipulation.

Its unique and powerful feature involves temporary reproduction and resolution (easing) of usual head pain.

How does it work?

If your headache or migraine is the result of head or neck trauma it is appropriate that you consult your doctor. However if there is no evidence of injury to structures within your head, or if you were concussed and once the concussive state has passed and headache or migraine continues, then there is a strong likelihood that your neck is the source of your headache or migraine. At this point, a comprehensive assessment of your upper neck is appropriate.

This is done by examining the small movements of the joints in the upper neck. If headache or migraine is coming from a spinal disorder it will be from one or more of the top three spinal segments. Reproduction and resolution of usual head pain symptoms confirms a neck disorder as a component of the headache-migraine condition. This is a crucial step as it takes the guesswork out of whether treatment of your neck can be recommended.

Treatment is aimed at restoring normal function of the joints in the upper neck using gentle techniques in a slow and smooth manner. To maintain healthy function of the spinal segments, it may be that a program comprising exercises and alteration in posture will be necessary. Some improvement should be noticeable in just a few weeks.

What is involved?

How much will it cost?

Who will be treating your headache?

Physiotherapist Stuart Horton leads this service, and can tell you if your headache is related to your neck.

He is one of our most experienced Physiotherapists, and has a special interest in the assessment and management of the upper neck in relation to headache-migraine conditions.

You can read more about Stuart and his work here.

Stuart is also a Watson Headache Approach® Certified Practitioner and you can read more about this proven method of headache therapy here.

Find out more and make an appointment

To find out more, call us on 03 479 5757 or email: physiotherapy.clinic@otago.ac.nz

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