Migraine Treatment

We are passionate about helping people living with headaches and migraine achieve significant, sustainable improvements.

cluster headache flow osteopathy

We are passionate about helping people living with headaches and migraine achieve significant, sustainable improvements.

Our Process

We take you through an individualised, three step process:

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Step 1:
Examination

Our detailed assessment will determine whether your neck is contributing to your migraine or headaches and whether it is treatable using this approach.

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Step 2:
Treatment

Treatment aims to reduce stress on the upper neck and desensitise the 'headache centre' of the brainstem. The initial treatment phase lasts for 2-3 weeks. Our aim is to create a significant improvement to your symptoms following this period of time.

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Step 3:
Self-management

Once we have established a significant improvement we take you through the exercises and lifestyle habits that can help maintain the changes we have achieved.

Our Difference
flow osteopathy find your flow

While some forms of physical therapy (physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic, osteopathy) can be great at providing short term relief, they often fail to create sustainable improvements for chronic headache and migraine sufferers.

However, in the last 10 years research has given rise to innovative and effective forms of treatment.

Our process for headaches and migraine is based on the Watson Headache Approach®.

Watson Headache® Approach

This is a hands on treatment approach created specifically to treat headache and migraine. It has been shown to reduce sensitivity in the TCC – the ‘headache centre’ of the brainstem (1). Brainstem hypersensitivity is known to be an underlying cause of headache and migraine (2).

The Watson Headache® Approach follows the treatment philosophy of Dr. Dean Watson. For the last 20 years he has pioneered clinical research into how the neck can influence migraines (1, 3).

First, we will identify and resolve an often overlooked misbehaviour in the upper neck. It is this misbehaviour that can lead to brainstem sensitisation and migraine.

Once we resolve this issue, we will desensitise the TCC or ‘headache centre’ of the brainstem.

All treatment is hands-on and uses a gentle, precise pressure to the upper neck. There is no heavy manipulation or “cracking” of the neck.

headache and migraine treatment | flow osteopathy clinic
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Flow Osteopathy Ringwood | Headache Treatment and Migraine Treatment

To find out if this approach can help you, book in a free 15 minute phone call with osteopath Tim. 

Tim will chat to you about your headaches and migraines and, if you wish, organise an initial appointment. 

It doesn't matter if you've been living with headaches or migraine for 20+ years or it's a recent issue, we can achieve sustainable results.

Whilst the words ‘headache’ and ‘migraine’ have become synonymous, anyone living with migraine knows that it is so much more than just a headache. According to the World Health Organisation it is one of the most debilitating neurological conditions worldwide and affects roughly one in five people during their lifetime. Despite this, it is still under recognised, under diagnosed and under treated throughout the world (1).

In essence, migraine is an over-sensitisation of areas of the brain. The aim of our treatment is to decrease the sensitivity in these areas and create significant, sustainable improvements and reduce reliance on medications to suppress the symptoms.

Whilst migraine is different from one person to the next, here is a general overview of what a migraine episode can look like.

Symptoms of Migraine

The migraine process is broken up into 3 stages:

  1. Prodromal phase
  2. Headache phase
  3. Postdromal phase

Prodromal Phase

This phase precedes the typical migraine headache and can last up to 48 hours before the headache onset. That said, not all who have migraine will experience prodromal symptoms. It can be useful to pay attention to these symptoms as beginning certain treatments in this phase can significantly increase their effectiveness. Some of the prodromal migraine symptoms include:

  • Changes in mood, from feelings of depression or irritability to difficulty focusing
  • Sensitivity to sound and light
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Muscle stiffness, especially in the neck and shoulders
  • Cravings for certain foods
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive yawning

Headache Phase

This stage of the migraine process is characterised by pain on one or both sides of the head. The pain can range from being slight to completely debilitating. The degree of pain experienced will be different from person to person and from episode to episode. The pain can present either on just one side of the head or both and is often felt behind the eye. Where the pain is can change from episode to episode. Some other symptoms that can accompany the headache include:

  • Nausea
  • Inability to sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Sensitivity to sound, light and smell

Postdrome Phase

Sometimes referred to as the “migraine hangover” the postdromal phase of migraine affects most people living with migraine. Whilst the worst of the headache is gone, the symptoms of the migraine hangover can still be significant. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Sensitivity to light

Migraine with Aura

For around one third of people living with migraine there is a 4th stage, which typically precedes the headache phase. This is known as the aura and it can generally last anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes.

The aura presents as a visual symptom. Common aura presentations include:

  • The appearance of shapes/patterns
  • Periods of blurred vision or vision loss
  • Blind spots
  • Flashing or shimmering lights

Much like the onset of the prodromal phase, a migraine aura can provide a warning sign for an impending migraine headache. This can give you a chance to take medications or other treatments, to avoid or diminish the severity of the headache phase (2).

Migraine Treatment

No two migraines are the same.

Understanding your migraine is crucial to finding the right treatment.

Like other headache types, optimum migraine management is holistic and patient-centered. This means understanding all the ways that you can improve your migraine and finding what works best for you.

At Flow, we are passionate about helping people determine whether their upper neck is contributing to their migraine. We can create significant, sustainable improvements to this aspect of the migraine puzzle.

Beyond that, we can introduce you to other evidence based methods to investigate.

For more information on how we can help, visit the headache and migraine page.

  1. ‘Headache disorders’, website: World Health Organisation.
  2. ‘Migraine’, website: Migraine and Headache Australia
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