Conditions we love (Ally): Headaches

We should start with a disclaimer… We don’t love these conditions themselves; we love treating them!

Headaches a

nd migraines can be a very debilitating condition suffered by a large percentage of the population (1 in 20 people!). They can range from mild pain, lasting just a few hours, to severe throbbing pain causing the sufferer to be unable to leave their house for days.

I have been fortunate enough to learn how to diagnose and treat headaches from Dean Watson, the founder of the Watson Headache Approach. I have found it to be a very rewarding method of treatment with the main aim of treatment being to identify the cervical (neck) joint that reproduces your area of headache pain.

Typically, people come into the clinic with a headache and through the assessment of the upper cervical spine segments we usually find the joint that intensifies the exact head pain they get. They are then so relieved when maintaining pressure on that joint referring to their headache pain that their head pain resolves. It is this ‘reproduction and resolution’ of head pain that is so powerful in desensitising the brainstem, which is the underlying disorder of headache and migraine sufferers. 

I love that it is a drug free intervention that is successful in reducing headaches in 80% of headache or migraine sufferers. I especially love it when I can relieve the headache of someone who has been suffering for years and thought that they just have to put up with it forever. I find it to be a very systematic and reproducible method of treatment that does actually work, with results starting from the very first session. 

EXERCISE

Here is my favorite headache exercise. It is best done when you are just feeling the onset of head pain or any associated symptoms that precede your headache.

Hold this for 20seconds or until the headache subsides.

Repeat up to 5 times in a row.

If you’d like a to see Ally or one of our other physios regarding your headaches (or any other issues!), please call or book online.


This post was written by Allyson Flanagan, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy and 
Pilates. 

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