It is not widely understood, yet that headache or migraine can be literally a pain in the neck,” says Clare Brandrick, Director and Senior Physiotherapist at Muscle People Physiotherapy.
In the past 10 years, the understanding of the causes of headaches and migraines has evolved, and research is showing that sensitisation of the brain stem can be causing the problem.
If, like 13 percent of the population, you are affected by migraines and headaches, you’ll know they are unpredictable and extremely debilitating. They mean time off school or work, missed opportunities and difficulty in planning ahead. The powerful medications used to alleviate pain can have side effects, can even cause rebound headaches and have to be taken at the right time to be effective.
The approach at Muscle People does not involve manipulating or cracking the neck. Instead, the appropriate spinal segments are gently stressed in a smooth, sustained manner. The physiotherapists are trained in the ‘Watson Headache Approach’, a method of examining the small movements of the top three spinal segments. It is an internationally recognised approach for diagnostic accuracy and for reducing the pain of headaches and migraines. It can reduce the amount of medication taken, or remove the need for it altogether.
Clare says that patients generally come to the clinic four or five times in the first few weeks of treatment and they are shown some very simple exercises to do at home. After the first few weeks, treatment sessions are guided by how the patient is feeling. By the time they get to the clinic for the first time, patients can be at their wit’s end, but are really surprised at how quickly things can change for the better.
Migraine patient Nick says, “I have had migraines since I was about four and since I had treatment at Muscle People and doing the exercises, I haven’t had a migraine in, I don’t know how long. I know if I do my exercises I’m ok,”
Another patient Tania says, “After three months of bouncing between different physios and specialists, I found that after five minutes with Clare the problem was pretty much solved”.
Three Christchurch locations – City, Bishopdale and Wigram Skies – see people travelling from as far as Auckland and Invercargill to seek treatment. Muscle People Physiotherapy also offers the full range of physiotherapy services: acupuncture, massage therapy, physiotherapy, sports physio, functional training and corporate health and work injuries.
For more information on the migraine and headache clinics, as well as the general physio services, visit
www.musclepeople.co.nz or phone