How many sessions will I need?
We expect to see improvements within the first 6 sessions, in 85-90% of our patients.
The first 6 sessions take place over 2-3 weeks, providing rapid and effective results. After this first block of sessions, typically a patient would then be seen weekly, then fortnightly, monthly, then every 2 months etc, etc.
We don’t aim to provide you with countless and never-ending treatment sessions, instead we aim to provide you with the tools to manage your condition yourself.
Will this work for me?
We know that our technique will work for you, if our clinicians are able to reproduce your head pain with selective pressures through your upper neck. This happens in 85-90% of the patients that we see.
Once treatment has started, we expect to see improvements in 90% of our patients.
If there are no significant changes to your symptoms in the first 6 sessions, then we will cease treatment and find another option for you.
I’ve tried it all, how is this any different?
Most of our patients have tried all sorts of different things to resolve their headaches and migraines. They’ve tried physiotherapy, chiropractic care, massage, acupuncture, Botox and cortisone injections and a whole raft of different pain medications. The effects of all of these treatments is often short-lived.
At Gold Coast Headache & Migraine Clinic, we use the ‘Watson Headache Approach’, which is different to most other modalities you would have tried, in that it:
- Can reproduce the same head pain that you feel
- Treats the primary cause of your headaches or migraines
- Does not involve cracking or clicking any of the joints in your neck
- Leaves no doubt as to whether your neck is involved, or not
- Aims to decrease your medication-use, not increase it
- Provides a clear plan, through our Optimal Health4Life pathway
- Provides you with a way to self-manage your headache or migraine symptoms
- Our comprehensive assessment is used to see whether you are suitable for the treatment plan
Will the treatment last?
Yes, you can achieve long-term results, and you won’t have to receive treatments for the rest of your life. We aim to give you the knowledge and ability to self-manage your headaches and migraines. We will give you simple and specific techniques you can perform yourself, that will help you to stay headache and migraine free.
Will this fix my headaches and migraines?
In those who qualify for our treatment plan, approximately 85-90% of people, this will work to significantly reduce your headaches and migraines. A significant reduction to your headaches is possible, depending on how well you self-manage between treatment sessions and how well you carry our suggestions into your life. Most of our clients will tell us their symptoms are fully resolved, and will see us once or twice per year, for a check-up, much like they see their dentist.
What should I bring for my first session?
- Please arrive 10 minutes early, in order to fill out your personal details and read through some information regarding your first consultation
- Wear clothes that allow easy access to your neck. Singlets or T-shirts are preferable. Collared shirts may need to be removed in order to assess your neck accurately.
- Bring any scans, x-Rays or medical reports you may already have. These aren’t compulsory, but your clinician can help you to interpret their results
- Please bring a list of any medication you have taken for your headaches or migraines
- If you don’t have a headache diary, think about the following information, before your first appointment
- How frequently you experience your symptoms?
- Where exactly you experience your pain?
- What your triggers are? if you have them
- Information about any previous injuries to your neck or head
- A list of any direct family members who also experience headaches or migraines
Where can I find out more?
Go to our homepage to learn more about headaches and migraines, as well as to find information about our assessment, the treatment and the results that we expect.
Alternatively, call 1800HEADACHE to speak with one of our friendly reception staff about our services and how to make a booking. If it is easier, fill out our contact form, and we will be in touch soon.
If you would like to learn more specifically about the Watson Headache Approach, visit www.watsonheadache.com, the official website.
Call 1800HEADACHE today, and take the first steps towards a life free from headache
Common Headaches Treated
What are Cluster Headaches?
Cluster Headaches are a rare type of headaches that affect around 0.1% of the population, according to the International Headache Society. While they are rare, it does affect males 3-4 times more frequently than females .
Despite being uncommon, Cluster Headaches are regarded as being the most severe and debilitating type of headache. Research has shown Cluster Headaches frequently described as having the highest pain levels , out of all 300 different types of headache and migraine. Cluster Headache attacks occur in cycles, and will often wake sufferers during the night, or at regular times during the day. Attacks generally last between 15-180 minutes, and can happen multiple times per day, or once every couple of days [1, 2]. People who suffer from Cluster Headaches generally experience periods of attacks, or “cluster periods” that can last weeks or months. These periods are then followed by periods of remission lasting weeks, months or even years. The pain is often severe, on one-side of the head, and generally around the eye and/or temple region. Cluster Headaches have adopted the nickname, ‘suicide headaches’ due to their severe and debilitating nature .
What are the signs and symptoms?
Cluster Headaches are often severe enough that a sufferer cannot keep still during an attack. They may pace back and forth, have to take a shower, or even resort to banging their head in an attempt to reduce the pan.
Symptoms commonly associated with Cluster Headaches include :
- Severe pain around one eye, that can radiate further around the face or neck
- Restlessness, shortness of breath and/or a sweaty face
- Watery/teary eyes or eye redness
- Swollen or droopy eyelids
- Runny or congested nose
- Pale or flushed skin
- Pain is unilateral, or affects only one side
What are the different types of Cluster Headache?
There are 2 types of cluster headache.
Episodic Cluster Headache
Cluster Headaches most commonly occur episodically. This is when sufferers experience bouts of “cluster periods” that can last for weeks or months, followed by an extended period in remission that can last up to years. They can occur seasonally or at set times each year. Episodic Cluster Headaches account for up to 80% of all Cluster Headaches [1, 2].
Chronic Cluster Headache
When Cluster Headaches occur without a prolonged period of remission, they are termed a Chronic Cluster headache. Sufferers often have “cluster periods” that will last over a year. While they may have days without attacks, the remissions will not last longer than a month.
What are the risk factors?
- Men are 5-6 times more likely to experience cluster headaches
- Sufferers are generally heavy smokers
- Higher alcohol consumption may be a factor
- Cluster Headaches most commonly affect people aged 20-50, but can occur at any age
- People with family members who are sufferers may be at a higher risk
What causes Cluster Headaches?
Historically, it was believed that cluster headaches, as well as migraines, were caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the head, causing pain. This was thought because medications, like triptans, are effective at relieving the pain if taking early enough in an attack. It was believed that triptans prevent this vessel dilation. However, recent research has shown that Cluster Headache and migraine sufferers do not experience blood vessel dilation at any different levels to people who do not suffer. So, how do these medications work?
Modern research has shown that Cluster Headaches and migraines arise from increased sensitivity in the central nervous system , more specifically, a sensitised brainstem which is located in the upper cervical spine (the upper neck). Faults in the upper neck can lead to this sensitised brainstem, which then can refer severe pain and associated symptoms into the head and face . Triptan medication has also more recently been shown to de-sensitise the brainstem , as well as its original purpose of constricting blood vessels in the head. This would explain why they work, as well as identifying a sensitised brainstem and the cervical spine as a cause of cluster headaches.
I've tried it all, is there anything that can help me?
While Cluster Headaches are very uncommon, they are still experienced in the Gold Coast region. The severity of symptoms causes sufferers to try a range of therapies in an attempt to resolve them, with mixed results. Often, they have tried; medications, injection therapy, or even surgical interventions such as, nerve blocks or blood vessel cauterisation.
At The Headache and Migraine Clinic, we aim to use the most modern research to find the root cause of your cluster headaches. If we can determine that a sensitised brainstem is the cause of your headaches, then we can use world-leading treatment techniques to address the faults in your neck and de-sensitise the brainstem. We have seen plenty of Cluster Headache sufferers at our clinics, and have an 85-90% success rate with our treatment technique. The best part is that it is safe, non-invasive and medication-free.