- There were 2411 headache days, 786 of which were migraines.
- The majority of migraines were in the moderate pain stage.
- Regardless of the intensity of headache pain, neck pain was a more frequently present than was nausea.
- Those diagnosed with chronic daily headache were more likely to have neck pain.
So what does this mean? From a standard migraine approach, this means that, although the presence of nausea is a characteristic of a migraine headache, neck pain (which is not a characteristic) is actually more common.
From my standpoint of almost 20 years of treating migraine patients, we have totally, absolutely missed the ball. Since most headache specialist do not touch the patient and wouldn’t even know how to treat problems in the neck is he or she found them, these patients are mis-diagnosed.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had patients come in with a diagnosis of “migraine” only to have the headaches go away with soft tissue treatment of the neck structures combined with manipulation. These were NOT migraines. Migraines generally do not respond as well to manual therapies, but most often need a lifestyle overhaul to manage the headaches.
The bottom line? Neck pain is strongly associated with headaches. If you have headaches, it is absolutely essential for you to find a chiropractor competent in soft tissue treatment to see if this will help.