Headaches & Migraines

Home / Services / Headaches & Migraines

Do you have headaches or migraines?

Our physiotherapist, Dr Chen is skilled to provide an assessment of their upper cervical spine to determine if your neck is the cause of, or contributing to your headache or migraine.

Recent research has shown that the underlying disorder in migraine, cervicogenic and tension headaches is a sensitised brainstem. 2-8 The brainstem is located at the base of the brain and controls the flow of messages between the brain, and the rest of the body, via the spinal cord. Migraines that respond to Triptans (migraine medication) are known to be related to the desensitisation of the brainstem.A systematic assessment and treatment of the upper cervical spine (upper neck region ) could relieve migraine and headache symptoms via a similar mechanism i.e. desensitising the brainstem.

Chen has completed a PhD in the management of neck pain and undertaken a comprehensive course in assessment and management of the upper cervical spine in headache and migraine conditions and can assist you with the management of your problem.

The techniques consist of manual therapy of the cervical spine and do not involve cervical manipulation. Changes to your headache symptoms need to be evident within 4-5 treatments to support ongoing treatment.

Do not hesitate to contact our clinic if you have any queries.

References:

  1. Bartsch TGP. Anatomy and physiology of pain referral in primary and cervicogenic headache disorders. Headache Curr. 2005;2:42-48.
  2. Nardone R, Ausserer H, Bratti A, Covi M, Lochner P, Marth R, Florio I, Tezzon F. Trigemino-Cervical Reflex Abnormalities in Patients with Migraine and Cluster Headache. Headache 2008; 48(4):578-585
  3. Katsavara Z, Lehnerdt G, Duda B, Ellrich J, Diener HC, Kaube H. Sensitization of trigeminal nociception specific for migraine but not pain of sinusitis. Neurology 2002;59:1450-1453
  4. Katsavara Z, Giffin N, Diener HC, Kaube H. Abnormal habituation of ‘nociceptive’ blink reflex in migraine – evidence for increased excitability of trigeminal nociception. Cephalalgia 2003; 23:814-819
  5. Kaube H, Katasavara Z, Przywara S, Drepper J, Ellrich J, Diener HC. Acute migraine headache. Possible sensitization of neurons in the spinal trigeminal nucleus? Neurology 2002; 58:1234-1238
  6. Sandrini G, Cecchini AB, Milanov I, Tassorelli C, Buzzi MG, Nappi G. Electrophysiological evidence for trigeminal neuron sensitisation in patients with migraine. Neurosci Lett 2002; 317:135-138
  7. Milanov I, Bogdanova D. Trigemino-cervical reflex in patients with headache. Cephalalgia 2003; 23:35- 38
  8. Nardone R, Tezzon F. The trigemino-cervical reflex in tension-type headache. European Journal of Neurology 2003; 10(3):307-312
  9. Hoskin KL, Kaube H, Goadsby PJ. Sumatriptan can inhibit trigeminal afferents by an exclusively neural mechanism. Brain1996; 119:1419-28