For modern health and medical techniques to be considered effective, they need to be based upon sound scientific principles and research. Often this research is complicated and confusing.
This blog will endeavour to make sense of the most recent research on headaches, especially the research pertaining to the Watson Headache® Approach.
I will give a short summary of a piece of research, give one or two points or facts that we learn from the research and provide a link to connect you to the actual research paper.
If you would like to ask a question about any particular aspect of the research or you would like me to review a piece of research, please use the ‘Contact Us’ form to submit your question.
Head Pain Referral During Examination of the neck in Migraine and Tension Type Headache.
Dean H Watson and Peter D Drummond. Headache, 2012. American Headache Society.
In this paper, Dean reports on research, designed to determine if the upper neck can refer pain to the head. He chose to assess people who had been diagnosed with tension-Type headache and Migraine headache without aura, which is an eye problem usually related to more severe migraines. He also had ‘control’ patients who do not suffer from headaches.
Using two of his normal assessment techniques, Dean was able to reproduce the normal headache type pain in 33 out of 34 of the headache sufferers in the study. Only 8 of the 14 control subjects experienced some kind of referred pain to the head.
His conclusion was that the impact of a dysfunction of the neck on headaches may be “significantly underestimated.”
This research clearly demonstrates the referral mechanism by which neck dysfunction can cause headaches, even in people who suffer Migraine Type Headaches. Migraine headaches are not traditionally associated with neck dysfunction but this research suggests it may be involved. Consequently treatment of the neck may be beneficial for those who suffer from Migraine Type Headaches.
Cervical referral of Head pain in Migraineurs: Effects on the Nociceptive Blink Reflex.
Dean H Watson and Peter D Drummond. Headache, 2014, American Headache Society.
Dean Watson’s most recent publication, this research focuses on the impact that his treatment techniques have on nerve sensitivity in the brainstem as measured by the Nociceptive Blink Reflex. In this study 15 migraine sufferers were treated using the appropriate technique that reproduced their headache pain. Local pressure to the arm was used as a control. The results showed a reduction of sensitivity in the neck treatment group as measured by the Nociceptive Blink Reflex.
This suggests that manual techniques used in the Watson Headache® Approach to treat the upper neck may be beneficial in reducing pain associated with migraine.
To get the full article and an understanding of Dean’s scientific approach see the link below.
The Vascular Theory of Migraine – a great story wrecked by facts.
P J Goadsby, BRAIN – A Journal of Neurology, 2009; 6-7
This is a summary on the scientific theories what causes a Migraine. It outlines some research as to why the author believes the nerves or neural factors are the most likely cause rather than blood vessels.
Further interesting reading on this topic can be found here