Anaesthetising Neck Structures Cease the Hemiplegic Aura of Migraine

July 17, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

Anaesthetising Neck Structures

Selected neck structures were anaesthetised

In a recent report anaesthetising selected neck structures ceased the hemiplegic aura in a two migraine patients.

This patients’ auras comprised slight weakness, tingling and or numbness involving one side of the body, and face. Within 5 minutes of injecting a local anaesthetic the auras ceased and were not followed by their usual pain states.

I have on two occasions prevented auras from developing, in fact they ceased within 5 minutes after mobilising the upper cervical spine – and furthermore the usual pain did not occur. My experience and what is reported in this case study suggests that abnormal information from a neck disorder could be sensitising the brainstem and suppressing it, preventing the migraine occurring.

I have mentioned temporary reproduction of familiar pain as a key diagnostic sign for cervicogenic headache; in a significant proportion of patients suffering migraine with aura it is also possible to temporarily reproduce their auras with subsequent lessening (as the examination technique is sustained) when examining the upper neck – once again this is a good sign and confirms cervicogenic factors as the source of sensitisation.

It is not necessary for confirmation to have invasive (nerve block) procedures …



(Jull G, Bogduk N, Marsland A. The accuracy of manual diagnosis for cervical zygapophyseal joint pain syndromes. Med J Aust. 1988 Mar 7;148(5):233-6

Rozen T. Cessation of hemiplegic migraine auras with greater occipital nerve blockade. Headache 2007;47:917-928)

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About dean
Consultant Headache & Migraine Physiotherapist; International Teacher; Director, The Headache Clinic & Watson Headache Institute; PhD Candidate Murdoch University, Western Australia; Adjunct Lecturer, Masters Program, Physiotherapy School, University of South Australia; MAppSc(Res) GradDipAdvManipTher Experienced health practitioners trained in the Watson Headache Approach perform the examination and treatment techniques developed by Dean Watson. These techniques are based on his extensive experience of 7000 headache patients (21,000 hours) over 21 years and are now taught internationally. For your nearest practitioner who has completed training in the ‘Watson Headache Approach’ please refer to the ‘Practitioner Directory’.

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