Welcome to my Journey in Headache and Migraine

April 6, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

Welcome to my journey.

My journey started in 1987 when I commenced a Masters research program at the University of South Australia. The results of this research were published in the international headache journal, Cephalalgia, and have influenced the management of cervicogenic (neck-related) headache sufferers.

In 1991, I established The Headache Clinic in Adelaide, South Australia, which became recognised nationally and internationally. Since then I have treated headache and migraine sufferers exclusively.  I have now examined the necks of over 7000 headache and migraine sufferers and completed in excess of 28000 treatments. Now traditional medicine does not consider disorders of the neck to be involved in the headache and migraine process, but my clinical experience suggests very strongly that they do!


During this time my fundamental purpose has been and is to determine whether or not a neck disorder is the cause of or a significant contributing factor to headache or migraine – I believe that every headache sufferer has the right to know their headache diagnosis as precisely as possible, to know the nature of their headache disorder, its outcome and possible types of treatment.

Whilst my emphasis is on the neck as a source of headache, this does not blind me to the possibility of other factors as the cause of headache – I recognise that not all headache comes from disorders of the neck and that headache may have more than one cause. However given that the cause of migraine and other forms of headache are unknown it seems logical and reasonable that a skilled examination of your neck occurs after an assessment by your GP or Neurologist (and generally all the tests are negative) and before medication is prescribed – this may prevent a lifetime tied to medication, a lifetime of checking whether you have your headache or migraine medication in your handbag before you leave the house!

Current research shows that migraine is not a problem with the blood vessels and that tension headache is not caused by increased tension in the muscles of the scalp and forehead! More of that next time ….

Until then,


Dean Watson

Consultant Headache and Migraine Physiotherapist; Adjunct Lecturer, Masters Program, School of Physiotherapy, University of South Australia; PhD Candidate, Murdoch University, Western Australia

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

Tegeler CH, Davidai G, Gengo FM, Knappertz VA,Troost BT, Gabriel H, Davis RL. Middle cerebral artery velocity correlates with nitroglcerin-induced headache onset. J Neuroimaging 1996; 6(2): 81-6

Thomsen LL, Iverson HK, Olesen J. Cerebral bloodflow velocities are reduced during attacks of unilateral migraine without aura. Cephalalgia 1995; 15(2): 109-116

Thomsen LL. Investigations into the role of nitric oxide and the large intracranial arteries in migraine headache. Cephalalgia 1997; 17:873-95)

© 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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