Neck Pain is the Cause of Worsening Migraine

October 14, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

Neck Disorders can be part of the migraine process

Neck Disorders can be part of the migraine process

How refreshing to find other researchers who also believe that cervicogenic (neck) disorders can be part of the migraine process – we are few and far between!

Calhoun and Ford (whose research I have quoted recently), investigated the incidence of neck pain on wakening in 113 migraineurs. They found that the more chronic the migraine the more likely that neck pain would be present on wakening; and that the presence of neck pain on wakening increases the likelihood of waking with a migraine as well!

They concluded that either neck pain is a ‘migraine’ in the neck and/or that the presence of neck pain without a migraine is likely to lead to migraine becoming more chronic.

My clinical experience includes treating patients just with pain in the neck but whose neck pain responded to the ‘triptans’ i.e. their ‘migraine’ was in their neck!



(Calhoun AH, Ford S. The prevalence of neck pain on awakening in a cohort of migraineurs Cephalalgia 2009;29(Suppl. 1):1–166)

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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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