Whiplash Headache Sufferers Less Stressed than Migraine Sufferers?

July 9, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

Whiplash sufferers know why they have headache

Whiplash sufferers know why they have headache

Recent research suggests people who develop headaches after a whiplash or other neck injury suffer less psychological distress than people with headaches (including migraine) of unknown causes.

It was found that, while both groups may be distressed because of continuing headaches, the injured group was less likely to have concerns such as fear of a brain tumour (which is quite rare) or not knowing why they had their headache.

These people believed their headache was the result of the injury which occurred just before their headaches began.

Therefore those people with headache or migraine with no clear diagnosis or cause, not only suffered pain from their headache or migraine but also from psychological distress, for whilst concerns might be lessened by investigations such as a CT scan or MRI head scans being normal, the cause of the headache or migraine remains unknown.

Temporary reproduction and easing of familiar or typical headache or migraine pain (which I know sounds quite scary) by examination of the small movements of the upper neck usually alleviates this added and often unnecessary stress – because the source of your headache and migraine has been determined.



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

Sjaastad O, Fredricksen TA, Pfaffenrath V. Cervicogenic headache: diagnostic criteria. Headache 1998; 38:442-5

Wallis BJ, Lord SM, Barnsley L, Bogduk N. The psychological profiles of patients with whiplash- associated headache. Cephalalgia 1998;18:101-5)

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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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