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22 Harvey Street
Collie WA 6225

(08) 9797 1111

Suite 1/1 Mulgara St
Australind WA 6233


Can Physio Help My Migraines?

Can physio help my migraines?

The short answer is yes!
One of the confusing phenomena about Cervicogenic Headache (neck related headache) is that its symptoms can present as Migraine, Tension Headache or even Cluster Headache. So even though your headache may have been diagnosed as Migraine, Tension Headache, Cluster Headache etc., it may actually be a ‘Cervicogenic Headache’.
There is one feature which confirms that the upper neck is responsible for headache, and that is the behaviour of head pain.
If the headache is one-sided, which, for example occurs on the left, and the next episode on the right (it swaps sides between episodes or within the same episode), or if the headache is on both sides of the head at the same time, but is stronger on one side, this confirms that the neck is responsible for headche.
Other features indicating that the neck is the cause of headache are:
 headache starting in the neck and/or a headache that is accompanied by
neck discomfort or stiffness
 one-sided headache or a headache on both sides but stronger on the one
(always the same) side
 headache triggered by sustained postures, for example neck forward
 ongoing headache (4 weeks) after head and/or neck injury
 headache that is gradually becoming more frequent
The Watson Headache® Approach is a manual therapy methodology and
protocol for examining and managing the upper cervical spine in headache and migraine conditions.
Our Watson Headache Approach ® trained physiotherapist, Claire, has the skills to determine if your headache or migraine is coming from the neck by
reproducing and reducing the symptoms of your headache within a session.
Why do some people experience migraines but not others?
Studies have found that a section of the brainstem known as the Trigemino
Cervical Nucleus (TCN) is sensitised in those people who experience migraines. It has been demonstrated that reproduction and resolution of patients’ migraine pain de-sensitised the brainstem. Once the brainstem is desensitised it will no longer trigger migraine or headache symptoms.
Do I need to have a migraine when I come to my appointment?
No! The headache or migraine symptoms can be reproduced and reduced even when you don’t come in with a migraine.
If you would like to know more, go to
or make an appointment with our trained physiotherapist Claire here


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