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Assessment, Diagnosis & Treatment of Headaches and Migraines


   Assessment, Diagnosis &
   Treatment of
   Headaches and Migraines

The UK Headache & Migraine Specialist Network

Pain is often described as being chronic or acute. Chronic pain usually refers to pain that is of low intensity but continuous while acute pain is of a shorter duration but debilitating. For some sufferers, headache and migraine can be both chronic and acute and even when it is not present, patients live in constant anxiety of the next attack.

Headache & Migraine Specialists represents a network of clinical physiotherapists and neurologists. Our members have come together through a shared commitment to improving the quality of life of headache and migraine sufferers. We share best practice, we are informed by the latest clinical research and we work towards a set of guiding principles and practices to ensure a consistent quality of care.

Traditional Diagnosis & Treatment of Head Pain

Many sufferers report common experiences when seeking treatment for headache and migraine.

  • Repeat visits to GPs
  • Increasing reliance on ever increasing strengths of pain medication
  • Inconclusive tests and MRI & CT scans
  • No treatment for the underlying causes of head pain

This isn't surprising. In our experience, most causes of head pain are over overlooked because medical practitioners are looking in the place.

Through a combination of clinical experience and on-going research Headache & Migraine Specialists have come to the understanding that most causes of headaches and migraines have physical origins that respond well to expert treatment.

Understanding the Causes of Headaches and Migraines

Research shows that there are many factors can lead to headache and migraine. Clusters of sufferers within family groups suggest a genetic link that makes some people more prone to migraine than others. Low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, has been linked to migraine. A hormonal component is indicated by the fact the pre-menopausal women are three times more likely to suffer from migraine than any other group - including post menopausal women. Migraine is associated with certain food groups such as caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and mono sodium glutamate. There is a link between migraine and stress with the onset of migraine often associated with relaxation after a prolonged period of stress.

These factors often work in combination to bring a patient to a critical threshold which results in headache or migraine.

There is, however, one cause of headache that is often under-recognised, undiagnosed and therefore left without treatment.

Cervicogenic Headache and Migraine

Cervicogenic pain refers to pain emanating from the shoulders and the neck that is transmitted through the cervicogenic neural pathway in the upper vertebrae. Pain signals pass into the brain stem via synapses that are shared with the trigeminal nerves that connect to the head and the face. With cervicogenic headaches, normal sensory information from the trigeminal nerves become misinterpreted as pain and so the originating cause of pain is easily misdiagnosed.

Over 80% of patients suffering from headaches and migraines report significant benefits from physiotherapy treatment of neck and shoulders.

A New Diagnosis and Treatment of Headache & Migraine

A New Diagnosis and Treatment of Headache & Migraine

Physiotherapists within the Headache & Migraine Specialist network take a thorough medical history before beginning any treatment. In some instances, patients may be referred back to their own GP for further assessment or referred on to consultant neurologists. Headache & Migraine Specialists encourage all of our patients to consult their own GP, especially if they develop sudden or severe symptoms that are different from previous attacks.

As part of the assessment, a specially trained headache and migraine physiotherapist will look at all aspects of a patient's medical history and lifestyle. Cervicogenic causes of headache can be determined by temporarily reproducing the symptoms by stressing certain tissues in the neck. Although uncomfortable, this is short-lived and allows for more specific diagnosis and more effective treatment.

With the correct treatment, most patients find the pattern and intensity of headaches starts to change very quickly.

Further Information / Contact Us

At the moment, membership of the Headache & Migraine Specialist network is strongest in London, Essex and the South East of England. The intention is to expand the group throughout the UK and we are always happy to hear from medical practitioners - including other physiotherapists - who may be interested in working with us.

For further information visit us at www.headacheandmigrainespecialists.com or call us on 0844 264 0305.


Headache & Migraine Diagnosis & Treatment, Musculoskeletal Assessment, Trained Physiotherapists Specialising in Headache & Migraine Treatment, Medication, Upper Neck Pain, Alternative Headache Treatment & Cure By Physiotherapy, Cervicogenic Headaches, Physiotherapy, Ergonomic Realignment, Managed Headache Care Pathways, London, Essex

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