I would like to take this opportunity to introduce a new physiotherapeutic approach to headache management in Ireland. The Watson Headache ® Approach was established in South Australia by Dr Dean Watson, a physiotherapist who has specialised in treating headaches and migraines for over 30 years and completed his PHD in headache and migraine management. I have been fortunate to complete extensive training with Dean in Australia and I worked in the foremost specialist headache and migraine centre in Melbourne with the mentoring of Roger O’ Toole, an extremely experienced and knowledgeable headache consultant. While most physiotherapists are educated in treatment of cervicogenic headache, the assessment and management of primary headache is largely outside their scope of practice.
The Watson Headache ® Approach
Through extensive experience and research Dean recognised a gap in the understanding of assessment and treatment for headache and migraine sufferers. He understood that the neck was under diagnosed as a cause of headaches and furthered his research in this area. His research showed that 100% of tension type headache sufferers and 94% of migraine sufferers had their symptoms reproduced via specific points in their neck (Watson and Drummond, 2012). He then went on to prove that the Watson Headache ® Approach could impact and desensitise the brainstem, (Watson, 2014). He felt that evidence from reflex studies, PET scans and the mechanism of effect of triptans (Weiller et al., 1995; Mannix, 2005; Sand, Møll-Nilsen and Zwart, 2006), implied