“I’ve tried everything, why is this different?”
This is a common and totally reasonable question that is asked by people suffering from long term chronic headaches and migraines. The simple answer becomes clear when you differentiate whether or not your neck is a direct cause of your headaches.
Triggers are those things that bring on a headache or increase brainstem sensitivity. There are many potential triggers, some of which include certain foods, alcohol, hormonal changes, sun exposure and exercise.
A migraine episode will occur when these triggers push brainstem sensitivity above a certain threshold. People get confused about their triggers because, more often than not, several triggers need to occur together to bring on a migraine episode. Therefore, sometimes a certain trigger will cause a migraine and sometimes it won’t.
From research we know that about 80% of headache and migraine sufferers have a neck component to their problem. So, the neck is a major player!! The irony is that you don’t necessarily have to have neck pain for you to have a problem with the upper neck.
How do we decrease the sensitivity?
Whilst some triggers can cause a headache, avoiding them won’t necessarily fix the problem. The neck, however, is different – it can be a pathway to reduce brainstem sensitivity. The Watson Headache Approach can be used to identify a problem with the upper neck and then treat this problem to decrease brainstem sensitivity. The good news is that The Watson Headache Treatment Approach has been shown, through research, to directly decrease brainstem sensitivity.