Suffering from Headaches? Headaches are a very common and debilitating condition.

Quite often they are categorised into various types such as cluster headaches, tension headaches, migraines or cervicogenic headaches.

However research tells us they may have a common underlying cause from the neck and that can be treated successfully with physiotherapy.

The Watson approach for headaches

​The Watson Headache® Approach is a recognised and researched method of examination and treatment for headache and migraine conditions.

The diagnostic accuracy of the Watson Headache® Approach is unparalleled. Currently Rochelle is our physiotherapist that is trained in this assessment and treatment approach.

What the assessment involves:

1. Confirming the upper neck are responsible for your headache or migraine
2. Determine which of the upper cervical spinal joints are involved
3. Patient education so you understand how the upper cervical spine may be the cause of your headache/migraine
4. Temporary reproduction AND resolution (easing) of headache pain/symptoms using specific techniques.
5. NO cracking or manipulation of your neck – all techniques are very specific but some discomfort is expected.

A 60-minute initial assessment to confirm if your neck is a contributing factor to your headache and/or migraine.

In most cases, for best results, the first 5 sessions are usually done within a 3-week period.

Three Stages of Treatment

Pain is often the last symptom to arrive and the first to go. This often tricks the owner of an injury (you) into stopping treatment before the underlying causes have either completely resolved or you are in control of them. Without getting to this point there is a risk of re-injury.

As a result we look at your treatment over three phases to get the best result

Listen to how your problem happened and how it is affecting you.
Posture and if it influences your symptoms.
Low back, thoracic & hip mobility.
Individual joint movements at low back and SIJ.
Muscle strength in your core and hips.
Nerve testing in the lower limbs.

Rochelle Kay


BExSc Bachelor of Exercise Science & MPhtySt Masters of Physiotherapy Studies

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