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Hemicrania Continua, Migraine Aura and The Neck!

In a recent issue of Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain a case study reported a 17 year old male with hemicrania continua and aura perhaps suggesting that there is a link between hemic...

In a recent issue of Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain a case study reported a 17 year old male with hemicrania continua and aura perhaps suggesting that there is a link between hemicrania continua (headache of unknown origin) with migraine with aura (headache of unknown origin).

It was also reported in the same issue that a small trial in which an occipital nerve stimulator (which changes information from the neck) relieved the headache in five patients suffering hemicrania continua.

We also know that modifying information from the neck can also stop migrainous auras and the pain of migraine.

What does this suggest? is one voice of the Watson Headache Institute.

The Watson Headache Institute was established to increase the awareness of cervicogenic (neck) disorders in headache and migraine by imparting my (and that of others) clinical experience and knowledge; to present and discuss past and present relevant research and to undertake and support rigorous clinical and scientific research in this specialty.

Appropriate and up-to-date knowledge is self-empowering; I believe that every headache sufferer has the right to know their headache diagnosis as precisely as possible (and what it means), to know the nature of their headache disorder, its outcome and possible types of treatment.

What has yet to gain acceptance is my (and that of others) belief, supported by my unparalleled clinical experience and a significant body of international research, that it is incorrect to consider headache and migraine types as totally different entities and that cervicogenic (neck) disorders can be instrumental in the headache and migraine process.

Although Physiotherapy, Chiropractic and Osteopathy are different disciplines, we are supporters of the idea that headache and migraine sufferers, no matter what their diagnoses, can be helped to live their lives more effectively through appropriate neck treatment. However, because treatment of the neck does not fit the medical model of headache and migraine, the model has demonstrated little interest in exploring this as an option. It is essential that all factors, which have the potential to sensitise the brainstem, be investigated equally. Currently this is not the situation the neck is largely disregarded.

So, whilst is also about Education, it is also a directory for headache and migraine sufferers to source practitioners who have a particular interest in and are skilled in examination of the neck as a source of your headache or migraine to create a more comprehensive approach and provide an alternative, medication-free treatment.

Source: Free Articles from


Dean Watson of YourHeadache Solutions, Consultant Headache and Migraine Physiotherapist; Adjunct Lecturer, Masters Program, School of Physiotherapy, University of South Australia; PhD Candidate, Murdoch University, Western Australia. On his site you can search all topics about headache migraine, headache treatment, migraine treatment, headache causes, migraine causes headache symptoms and more.

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