Successful Headache and Migraine Treatment

Several authorities recently summarised the reasons why headache and migraine treatment often fails.

Amongst other factors, they suggested that the diagnosis is incomplete or incorrect and that this could occur for various reasons.

One of the reasons is ‘misdiagnosis’. I have mentioned this research before but diagnosing headache and migraine is like ‘a dog’s breakfast’; it is all over the place with many patients receiving 2 or 3 diagnoses or patients being misdiagnosed – diagnosed as migraine when in fact it was a cervicogenic (neck-related) headache …..!

The medical profession refuses to acknowledge cervicogenic factors – why? Because relating to it does not fit the medical model and anything that does not fit into the medical model is discarded as unworthy of serious consideration.

The entire diagnostic process needs to be reviewed as well as approaches to treatment. Until cervicogenic factors are considered, headache and migraine treatment will remain unsatisfactory with the only option for you, the headache sufferer, being pharmacological management.

Cheers

Dean

(Lipton RB, Silberstein SD, Saper JR, Bigal ME, Goadsby PJ. Why headache treatment fails. Neurology 2003;60:1064-1070

Yi X et al Cervicogenic headache in patients with presumed migraine: missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis? J Pain. 2005 Oct;6(10):700-3)

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

Worsening Migraine Attacks

Worsening Migraine Attacks are decreased significantly by cervicogenic (neck) treatment. Recent evidence suggests that migraine is an increasing condition in which over time, the attacks become more frequent, more severe, less responsive to medication, and perhaps lasting longer.

Research has shown that by decreasing information (surgically) from cervical (neck) nerves deceases the long term worsening of the migraine process. The natural progression of cervicogenic (neck) headache is exactly the same – if it is left untreated, cervicogenic headache becomes more frequent, more severe and eventually becomes continuous. This indicates that with the passage of time the neck disorder is gradually worsening (and it is likely to be loss of function or stiffness). This research supports the idea that cervicogenic (neck) disorders are the reason for not only worsening of the migraine process but also for the migraine process in the first place i.e. sensitisation of the brainstem.

Now I am not suggesting that migraine sufferers rush off and have the relatively minor surgery performed in this study (in fact I respectfully suggest that skilled treatment of the neck would have achieved the same result), but this research clearly demonstrates disorders of the upper neck are significantly involved in the migraine process.

Cheers

Dean

(Perry CJ, Blake P and Goadsby PJ Intervention altering the natural history of chronic migraine. Is chroni?cation of migraine headache a harbinger of peripheral afferent nerve involvement? Cephalalgia 2009; 29 (Suppl. 1):1–166)

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

How Common Is Migraine?

There are plenty of statistics in relation to the incidence of migraine, but a recent survey revealed more than just gender incidence.

This survey of over 120,000 households found that four out of ten females and two out of ten males respectively will experience migraine at some stage in their lifetime – most likely before aged 35 years……

….. and that the greatest frequency of attacks are likely to occur between the ages of 20 and 24 years in females and 15 to 19 in males. The authors reported that these findings were in accordance with previous studies.

Clearly this is a significant problem for many!

Cheers

Dean

(Stewart WF, Wood C, Reed ML, Roy J, Lipton RB. Cumulative lifetime migraine incidence in women and men. Cephalalgia 2008;28:1170-1178)

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

Is Migraine Inherited?

Is migraine inherited?

Is migraine inherited?

In a previous post I mentioned a recent survey which reported that 40 per cent of females will experience migraine in their lifetime.

Why is it then, that if three females in a family of ten for example, the assumption is often made that migraine is inherited? This incidence is no more than what occurs in the general population.

This assumption immediately leads to “ …. well you just have to live with it; there’s nothing we can do but manage the attacks.” This is a life sentence and not necessarily the case.

A skilled examination of the neck will confirm or eliminate cervicogenic disorders as the cause of your migraine condition.

Cheers

Dean

(Stewart WF, Wood C, Reed ML, Roy J, Lipton RB. Cumulative lifetime migraine incidence i women and men. Cephalalgia 2008;28:1170-1178)

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

Optimising Headache and Migraine Treatment

Whilst I was in the UK recently I had the opportunity to meet with several of my accredited practitioners.

I am pleased to say that the results of treatment/feedback from headache and migraine sufferers was amazing. This has increased their (the practitioners’) enthusiasm for a more substantial course (I am already doing two and one day courses).

There was unanimous agreement that it should be a ten day course for small groups of already accredited practitioners. In this course or ‘Master -Class’, the aim would be to examine and treat headache and migraine sufferers on 3-4 occasions, and how to progress from one treatment session to the next.

It was always my aim to develop the best possible teaching model – here it comes! (and it is being driven by practitioners wanting the best possible outcomes for you the headache or migraine sufferer).

Cheers

Dean

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

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