Treating Migraine with Greater Occipital Nerve Blocks

November 11, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

A skilled examination of the neck need not be an after thought

A skilled examination of the neck need not be an after thought

Whilst the primary of this study was to assess the effectiveness of greater occipital nerve blocks on ‘medication overuse headache’, it also demonstrated that of 108 nerve blocks, 78% of headache sufferers responded with an average 83% decrease in severity which lasted almost 7 weeks.

The greatest effect was in those patients whose headaches developed after being concussed (100%), then 89% for episodic migraine and less effect on those with chronic migraine (61%).

Once again more evidence that examination of the upper neck in headache and migraine sufferers should not be an ‘after-thought’ – it should be routine – it borders on irresponsibility if an examination of the neck is not performed once all other investigations have been carried out ….



(Tobin JA, Flitman SS. Nerve Blocks: Effect of Symptomatic Medication Overuse and Headache Type on Failure Rate. Headache 2009;49(10);1479-1485)

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

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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