The Area of Your Headache or Migraine Pain

April 16, 2010 by Dean Watson · Leave a Comment 

Where do you feel the pain of your headache or migraine?

This is a really important question for us because the area of your headache or migraine can give us a really strong indication as to which spinal segment we are dealing with.

For example if the pain of your headache or migraine is right behind your eye this suggests very strongly that the spinal segment at fault is that one which lies between the second and third cervical vertebrae (C2-3 segment). Along with this you are likely to feel accompanying neck stiffness or discomfort and if it is on the same side of your headache this is relevant!

Sometimes this neck discomfort or pain may travel up and over the top of the head, fairly close to the midline to end behind your eye, once again this demonstrates that the spinal segment at fault is the C2-3 segment. By the way if your headache is accompanied by significant nausea this provides further evidence of C2-3 involvement – and your pain is likely to be throbbing or pounding in nature.

If your pain is more across the forehead above your eyebrows, this suggests very strongly that the spinal segment at fault is that joint which lies between the skull and first vertebrae (CO-C1 segment).

Similarly, if the pain of your headache or migraine is around the side of your head around your ear, this indicates to us that the spinal segment most likely to be at fault is CO-C1. Some headache sufferers experience a band around their head as if a hat they are wearing is too tight – this is more like an ache, pressure or tightness. Often this type of presentation is misdiagnosed as a ‘tension-type’ headache – it really is an unrecognised cervicogenic headache!

To Summarise & Steps to Finding a Practitioner

So to summarise, if your headache or migraine is one sided and can occur on either side, or can swap sides within the same episode; if your headache or migraine is preceded or accompanied by neck stiffness, pain or discomfort; and if your headache or migraine has gradually increased in frequency over the years, there is a strong probability that your headache or migraine is coming from a neck disorder. But the final confirmation is temporary reproduction and lessening of familiar head pain when we examine your neck. This is a key to diagnosing neck related or cervicogenic headache.

Would you like an Internationally Trained Practitioner to assist you with your Headache or Migraine pain?

A Gradual Increase In The Frequency of Your Pain

April 16, 2010 by Dean Watson · Leave a Comment 

Has there been a gradual increase in frequency of your headache or migraine over the years?

If yes, this is a clear indicator that your neck is involved.

A gradual (as distinct from a sudden, recent) increase in frequency indicates that a neck disorder (usually stiffness of one or more of then top three spinal segments) is worsening and results in a gradual increase in frequency in headache or migraine over the years – sometimes to become continuous – a constant headache! A gradual increase in frequency in headache or migraine over the years suggests very strongly that your neck is the source of your headache or migraine.

However that’s not to say if there hasn’t been an increase in the frequency of your headache or migraine over the years then your neck is not involved.

The other change that often accompanies a gradual increase in frequency is that over the years you are needing to take stronger (as the one you are taking is having less and less of an effect) and stronger medication – this is another indication that your headache or migraine is the result of a worsening neck disorder.

To Summarise & Steps to Finding a Practitioner

So to summarise, if your headache or migraine is one sided and can occur on either side, or can swap sides within the same episode; if your headache or migraine is preceded or accompanied by neck stiffness, pain or discomfort; and if your headache or migraine has gradually increased in frequency over the years, there is a strong probability that your headache or migraine is coming from a neck disorder. But the final confirmation is temporary reproduction and lessening of familiar head pain when we examine your neck. This is a key to diagnosing neck related or cervicogenic headache.

Would you like an Internationally Trained Practitioner to assist you with your Headache or Migraine pain?

Neck Stiffness, Discomfort or Pain

April 16, 2010 by Dean Watson · Leave a Comment 

Is your headache or migraine preceded or accompanied by neck stiffness, discomfort or pain?

If so, this a strong indicator that your neck is involved.

Furthermore if your neck stiffness, discomfort or pain radiates down towards your shoulder blade, or running out over the top towards the shoulder this tells us that it is the C2-3 segment, that is, the joint between the second and third vertebrae that is at fault.

If the joint between the first and second vertebrae (C1-2 segment) is stiffness, discomfort or pain is felt a couple of centimetres below the base of your skull – and does not spread like C2-3.

Likewise if the headache or migraine is emanating coming from the joint between the skull and the first vertebrae (CO-C1 segment), the discomfort, stiffness (if you feel any at all – many headache sufferers are not aware of a problem until we lay our thumbs on it!) will be just under the base of the skull.

To Summarise & Steps to Finding a Practitioner

So to summarise, if your headache or migraine is one sided and can occur on either side, or can swap sides within the same episode; if your headache or migraine is preceded or accompanied by neck stiffness, pain or discomfort; and if your headache or migraine has gradually increased in frequency over the years, there is a strong probability that your headache or migraine is coming from a neck disorder. But the final confirmation is temporary reproduction and lessening of familiar head pain when we examine your neck. This is a key to diagnosing neck related or cervicogenic headache.

Would you like an Internationally Trained Practitioner to assist you with your Headache or Migraine pain?

One Sided Headache or Migraine Pain

April 16, 2010 by Dean Watson · Leave a Comment 

Is your headache or migraine one sided?

If yes, is it always on the same side or can it swap sides?

For example, if your headache or migraine is on the right on one occasion, can it be on the left on the next occasion?

Or does it swap sides within the same headache or migraine episode?

If your headache or migraine swaps sides it is your neck and not only that it indicates that it is likely to be a subtle disturbance of the disc between the second and third vertebrae (C2-3 segment) that is at fault.

However, even if your headache is one sided and doesn’t change sides, it doesn’t rule out the possibility that your neck is involved.

Based on my clinical observations of over 21,000 hours with headache and migraine sufferers, if your headache is one sided and it can swap sides between episodes, or within the same episode then it is clearly your neck.

Of this I am in no doubt!

To Summarise & Steps to Finding a Practitioner

So to summarise, if your headache or migraine is one sided and can occur on either side, or can swap sides within the same episode; if your headache or migraine is preceded or accompanied by neck stiffness, pain or discomfort; and if your headache or migraine has gradually increased in frequency over the years, there is a strong probability that your headache or migraine is coming from a neck disorder. But the final confirmation is temporary reproduction and lessening of familiar head pain when we examine your neck. This is a key to diagnosing neck related or cervicogenic headache.

Would you like an Internationally Trained Practitioner to assist you with your Headache or Migraine pain?

Whiplash Headache

August 2, 2009 by Dean Watson · Leave a Comment 

© 2009 & Beyond. Watson Headache Institute, All Rights Reserved.

Menstrual Migraine

July 31, 2009 by Dean Watson · Leave a Comment 

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Identifying Headache and Migraine

July 29, 2009 by Dean Watson · Leave a Comment 

© 2009 & Beyond. Watson Headache Institute, All Rights Reserved.

Tension and Headache

July 27, 2009 by Dean Watson · Leave a Comment 

© 2009 & Beyond. Watson Headache Institute, All Rights Reserved.

Blood Vessels and Migraine

July 25, 2009 by Dean Watson · Leave a Comment 

© 2009 & Beyond. Watson Headache Institute, All Rights Reserved.

Neck Disorders

July 23, 2009 by Dean Watson · Leave a Comment 

© 2009 & Beyond. Watson Headache Institute, All Rights Reserved.