Headache, Migraine and Depression

November 30, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

It is of no surprise to me that a recent survey showed that headache sufferers were almost 3 times as likely to be depressed than non headache sufferers but who had other issues in their lives.

Let’s consider the lot of a headache sufferer:

little is known about what causes headache or migraine

headache sufferers either experience constant or near constant pain or severe pain

the only management appears to be medication which at best relieves the pain, but doesn’t change the cause (because the cause is unknown)

the doctor is despairing (because he or she doesn’t know what to do next)

Arguably the aforementioned points are more significant than some other issues(?) ….. not much hope is there?

Actually there is … it is amazing that, when after examination of the upper neck reveals the source of headache or migraine symptoms, ‘depression’ lifts – just knowing where the headache comes from leads to significant improvement in one’s outlook.



(Marlow RA, Kegowicz CL, Starkey KN. Prevalence of depression symptoms in outpatients with a complaint of headache. J Am Board Fam Med 2009 Nov-Dec(6):602-3)

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

Examining The Neck of a Cluster Headache Sufferer

November 8, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

I was talking to a neurologist when in the UK recently and he mentioned that he was writing a case study of a cluster headache sufferer who has been free of cluster headache since his neck was treated. This is not a surprise to me as cluster headache frequently responds to treatment of relevant neck disorders.

This discussion reminded me of patient I saw when in The Netherlands about 5 years ago. This gentleman was 55 years of age and had suffered cluster headache since he was 25 years of age. His episodes lasted 6 months and occurred every 5 years.

I have mentioned that a key diagnostic finding when examining the upper neck structures is the temporary reproduction of headache and for headache to lessen as the technique is sustained. I examined this man when he was not experiencing an attack. Not only was I able to reproduce his head pain, but his eye started to water and his nose started to run, just as if he was in the middle of an attack – those of you who are cluster headache sufferers will identify with this!

Unfortunately I lost touch with this gentleman so I am not sure of the outcome or if in fact he sought treatment ….. but I would be confident of a successful outcome in experienced hands.



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