Cluster Headache Eased By Treating Cervicogenic (Neck) Disorders

September 17, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

Cluster Headache is a severe, nasty, form of headache

Cluster Headache is a severe, nasty, form of headache

Cluster Headache is a very severe, nasty, form of headache which is often unresponsive to traditional (typically medication) treatments.

My clinical experience (examining the upper neck) comprising temporary reproduction of headache and also of the associated features i.e. watery eye, blocked, congested or runny nostril, and subsequent successful treatment, suggests that cervicogenic disorders can be responsible for this debilitating type of headache.

Cluster headache sufferers who either could not tolerate the side effects of the medication or their headaches were not responsive to medication, responded to blocking information from structures (joints, ligaments, muscles etc) of the upper neck. These studies support my clinical experience and my claim that the upper necks of cluster headache sufferers should be examined for relevant disorders.

Cheers

Dean

(Gaul C, Muller O, Gasser T, Diener H-C, Katsarava Z. Bilateral occipital nerve stimulation for chronic cluster headache. Cephalalgia 2009;29 (Suppl. 1):1–166

Lara Lara M, Paz Solis J, Ortega-Casarubios MA, Palao , Tarrero A, Heredero J, Diez-Tejedor E. Occipital nerve stimulacion: is peripheral approach effective in cluster headache? Cephalalgia 2009;29 (Suppl. 1):1–166)

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

A Thorough Examination of Your Neck

September 9, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

A skilled examination of the neck

A skilled examination of the neck

A thorough examination of your neck by a skilled practitioner may be the missing link in finding the root cause of your headache or migraine.

It is appropriate that the first step is for your headache or migraine to be assessed by your doctor who will then determine if a neurological opinion is required and whether a scan of your head is necessary. In the vast majority of cases a scan is negative, that is, no abnormality is present. Subsequently, what usually happens is that medication is suggested, and then starts a ‘merry-go-round’ of trying different medication regimes; you as a headache or migraine sufferer are (perhaps unnecessarily) destined to a lifetime of medication.

At this point, what is missing is a thorough examination of the structures of the upper neck.

Cheers

Dean

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

Headache and Migraine Causes

August 25, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

The recent research has shown convincingly that migraine and headache is underpinned by sensitisation of the brainstem or central sensitisation.

One of the potential sources of senstisation of the brainstem is abnormal information from a disorders of structures within the head, structures which are supplied by the trigeminal nerve. It is then interesting to find that headache persists after blocking information carried by the trigeminal nerve. This clearly demonstrates that headache or migraine can come from other sources, for example neck disorders, and that the triptans act on structures other than in the head to ease headache or migraine … a sensitised brainstem … sensitised from another source … perhaps a neck disorder?

This can be easily confirmed by a skilled examination of the upper neck structures.

Cheers

Dean

(Matharu MS, Goadsby PJ. Persistence of attacks of cluster headache after trigeminal nerve root resection. Brain 2002;125(pt5):976-984)

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

Tension Headache and Tension

June 18, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

The medical model of headache and migraine recognises two conditions – migraine and tension-type headache. Recently the International Headache Society introduced a third ‘group’ of headaches; this group comprises Cluster Headache, Chronic Paroxysmal Hemicrania, SUNCT, and Hemicrania Continua.

In this model, the assumption has been the pain of tension headache arises from increased tension in the muscles of the scalp and forehead. However research has shown:

- that tension in muscles of the scalp and forehead in tension headache sufferers during a headache is no different to controls

- increased tension in the muscles of the neck in tension headache sufferers when compared to controls

- improved performance of the muscles of the upper neck reduced the severity and frequency of tension headache significantly

Perhaps then tension headache is an unrecognised cervicogenic (neck) headache?

Cheers

Dean

(Bakal DA, Kaganov JA. Muscle Contraction and Migraine Headache: Psychophysiologic Comparison. Headache 1977;17(5):208215

Headache Classification Subcommittee of the International Headache Society. The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edn. Cephalalgia 2004; 24(suppl.1):1-151

van Ettekoven H, Lucas C. Efficacy of physiotherapy including a craniocervical training programme for tension-type headache; a randomized clinical trial. Cephalalgia 2006; 26(8):983-91)

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