Triggers of Tension Headache and Migraine Are No Different

July 14, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

After comparing the triggers of migraine, tension headache and combined tension-type headache/migraine, no differences were found. In this research, patients, irrespective of their diagnosis, reported that emotional, dietary, physical, environmental, and hormonal factors were equally likely to trigger their headache or migraine … more evidence of a single headache and migraine process.

Can you imagine the delight of my patients when, having for years avoided chocolate or red wine (fancy living a life without chocolate or a glass of red wine!), and after treatment, chocolate, red wine, cheese etc no longer triggered headache or migraine. Clearly, neck disorders were sensitising their brainstem.

One authority suggests that dietary factors alone are not sufficient to trigger headache or migraine – that they probably act on a pre-existing condition.



(Amery WK, Van den Bergh V. What can precipitating factors teach us about the pathogenesis of migraine? Headache. 1987;27:146-150

Scharff L, Tirk DC, Marcus DA. Triggers of headache episodes and coping responses of headache diagnostic groups. Headache 1995;35(7):397-403)

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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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