Dean Watson Headache Technique

I have attended the 3 day Watson Headache®  Institute Level 1 Foundation Headache Course – ‘The Role of CO-C3 Segmental Dysfunction in Primary Headache’. The course was held on May 2014, London, UK and presented by Dean H Watson, Australian Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and founder of the Watson Headache®  Approach, on behalf of the Watson Headache®  Institute. For further information go to The course comprised 20 hours and was based on the Watson Headache® Approach, a protocol for the skilled assessment and management of the upper cervical (neck) spine in headache and migraine conditions. The Watson Headache® Approach is recognised as a scientifically researched method of examination and treatment. The diagnostic accuracy of the Watson Headache®  Approach is unparalleled. It can confirm if disorders in the upper neck are responsible for headache or migraine and determine the exact nature of the disorder as well as which spinal joints are involved. There is no guesswork and no cracking/manipulation. Its unique and powerful feature involves temporary reproduction and resolution (easing) of usual head pain. 

Links between the neck and head pain

“There is clear neuroanatomical evidence that demonstrates a relationship between the cervical spine and the facial and head region.”

(Mark B. Cervicogenic headache differential diagnosis and clinical management: literature review. J Craniomandibular Practice 1990; 8:332-338.)

“Headache of cervical origin and migraine often shows similar clinical presentations.” 

(Goadsby PJ, Bartsch T. Anatomy and physiology of pain referral patterns in primary and cervicogenic headache disorders. Headache Currents 2005;10:42-48.)

Many of you may think that there is no link between the neck and head pain however clinical research shows otherwise .  “Cervicogenic headache has been described for many years by clinicians of varying professions and specialties. Most authorities agree that many patients experience neck symptoms associated with headache. Whether the neck is the cause of, or part of, another headache type, careful attention to the neck and its relationship to the headache are extremely important.”

(Gallagher R, Cervicogenic Headache; A special report. Expert Rev. Neurotherapeutics 2007;7(10) 1279-83).

What happens during your assessment and treatment?

A range of a diagnostic techniques are used to prove that your neck is involved whereby we reproduce your actual headache symptoms, this process is reversible and the reproduction will only last a few seconds, as soon as the technique is released the headache will go. Once we are clear which vertebrae is involved we can create a treatment program using the diagnostic techniques but instead sustaining the hold where the headache is reproduced and then relieved within the same hold. You will also be given exercises and guidelines on what to do during your next headache.

The Watson Headache Approach is very successful and you will be suprised at the results as well think why no one had looked at your neck before. It you would like to know more about the clinical reasoning behind the techniques please visit:


Are you suffering with migraines?

What are Migraines?

A migraine is a throbbing, intense headache. Painful and sometimes disabling, they are also sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, noise or smell.

Migraines tend to recur, typically lasting 4 to 24 hours and sometimes longer. During a migraine attack changes to chemicals and blood vessels in the brain are thought to be the cause of the pain.

Migraine symptoms:

Typical migraine symptoms include an
intense, throbbing headache, often combined with:

  • Sensitivity to light, noise or smells

  • Nausea

  • Blurred vision or auras (floating/moving lights moving across line of vision)

You look fine....Yes because migraines are invisable