Headache Special Interest Group Meeting 16th November 2016
I was supported to attend the above workshop as part of the development of my PhD which is entitled: Identifying subgroups of migraine patients who could benefit from physical therapy.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that between 50% and 75% of adults aged 18–65 years globally have had at least one headache in the last year with more than 10% reporting migraines. Migraines/severe headaches are a debilitating condition often requiring time off which has huge social, economic and personal consequences.
Approximately 35- 50% of those who suffer migraines achieve some sort of relief through medication. It is important that those who do not respond to medication find pain relief through other means for example physical therapy. The aim of my study will be a 2 arm RCT aimed at identifying migraine effect moderators, comparing physical therapy with usual medication in a tertiary migraine clinic.
The work shop run by the British Pain Society on migraines/severe headaches involved presentations from colleagues nationally who discussed; pathophysiology, comorbidities, new pharmacological and non pharmacological approaches for the treatment of migraine.
The issues of peripheral and central sensitisation were addressed and are two common areas for discussion in the pathophysiology of migraine and other pain conditions. One of the peripheral triggers to migraines that was considered were temporomandibular disorders. This raised issues around comorbidities that contribute to migraine (of which there are many) and how these may be managed using physical therapy.
One of the interesting aspects I took away from the day was the concept that the development of migraines may be as a result of an impairment of homeostasis and the involvement of contributory stressors. I believe this is an important development and will form part of my study.
What is clear is that the treatment and management of migraines/severe headaches are still a major challenge and my research project will aim to address a very relevant topic.
Jim Odell PhD Student and supervision team Dr Carol Clark, Dr Damian Fay and Dr Jonny Branney