The Science

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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 between what are the TRIGGERS for your headache and what is the CAUSE.

Often we get confused by TRIGGERS and CAUSES.

TRIGGERS are those things that seem to start a headache or migraine, for example, certain types of foods, being in the sun, exercise. There are literally hundreds of potential triggers. The International Headache Society recognises over 300 different types of headaches often defined by their trigger!
The real problem for many people is that their ‘triggers’ aren’t always triggers. Sometimes a trigger can cause a migraine or headache, sometimes it doesn’t… It’s confusing and frustrating for the headache sufferer – YOU!

Why the confusion?

Confusion reigns because triggers can vary and sometimes a number of ‘triggers’ have to occur together to bring on a headache! Treatment is often focused on trying to minimise the triggers rather than addressing the cause.

What’s the cause?

In the latter part of the 20th Century it was thought migraines were caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the head. First forwarded by Willis in 1664, this theory battled with an opposing theory that migraines were caused by a dysfunction of nerves, put forward first by Liveing in 1873.

Now in the 21st Century, the science is falling heavily on the side that migraines are a nerve sensitivity problem. (The Vascular Theory of Migraine – a great story wrecked by facts. P J Goadsby, BRAIN – A Journal of Neurology, 2009; 6-7)

The Watson Headache® Treatment Approach is the only treatment methodology that has been proved to impact on headache sensitivity.

The Watson Headache Approach

Dean Watson, an Adelaide physiotherapist began working exclusively with people affected by chronic headaches and migraines 25 years ago. During this period of time, he has developed a scientific and systematic approach to assess the top three vertebrae in the neck and determine whether they are involved in a person’s headache or migraine condition.
The key feature of the Watson Headache® Approach is the temporary reproduction of and resolution of the usual headache pain a person experiences. If this can be achieved, there is a high probability (80% chance) of significant improvement, if not complete resolution of symptoms.

Watson Headache Certified Practitioner

As Dean has developed his scientific specific approach to treating headaches, he has also been teaching these techniques to many physiotherapists around the world; 22 countries to be precise!

A small number of physiotherapists have had the opportunity to study extensively with Dean and have been awarded the title of a Watson Headache® Certified Practitioner.

Photo 9Why is this certification so important?

  • It means I have completed the level one, two and three courses run by Dean Watson of the Watson Headache® Institute. I have also completed and will continue to be involved in Master Class continuing education to further develop and progress my skills in the treatment of headaches and migraines.
  • I have access to ongoing mentoring from Dean when required to sharpen my skills and treatment approaches.
  • This combined with my own experience of eight years and 6,000 hours of experience treating headache and migraine sufferer’s means that Sydney Headache & Migraine Centre can provide top quality headache treatment for whatever headache problems you suffer from.

Addressing the Cause

At Sydney Headache & Migraine Centre our goal is to address the cause of your headache,

“To provide scientifically based manual treatment of the neck to address the causes of your headache or migraine problem.”

You may have been diagnosed with any of the following headache conditions:-

  1. Migraine
  2. Tension Type Headache
  3.  Cluster Headache
  4. Chronic Daily Headache
  5. Hormonal Headache or Menstrual Migraine
  6. Sinus Headache
  7. Cervicogenic Headache
  8. Vertigo-Cervical Headache
  9. Whiplash Associated Headaches
  10. SUNCT

Whilst all these headache types and more are recognised as individual conditions, many have overlapping signs and symptoms, which suggests a common cause.

This cause, hypersensitivity in the brainstem nerves, can be treated at Sydney Headache & Migraine Centre. If we cannot determine a problem in the upper neck and are unable to reproduce your same headache pain, we can determine very quickly if our treatment will be successful.