Cause of Headache and Migraine

An Underlying Disorder

What else can I say but… there are those who are innately intuitive.

Considering the cause of headache and migraine, I have just come across a gentleman(1) who in 1888 described the migraine process in this way: “… we must not ascribe too much significance to throbbing of the increase in the pain by the cause of vascular distension; these may be due merely to the over sensitiveness of the central structures.”

A man almost 130 years before his time – Bravo!

In other words expansion of the blood vessels is unlikely to be the cause of pain; it may be that (normal / subclinical) expansion of blood vessels is misinterpreted/magnified by a sensitised central nervous system.

This information from the blood vessels has to pass through the BRAINSTEM on the way to the cortex … and what has been shown to be the disorder in headache and migraine?  A SENSITISED BRAINSTEM.


  1. Gowers WR. Diseases of the brain and cranial nerves. General and functional diseases of the nervous system. A Manual of Diseases of the Nervous System, 1st Ed. Vol. 2 London: Churchill, 1888


Until next time

If you are new to Watson Headache®, welcome to the Watson Headache® Approach, an evidence-informed practice when considering the role of the neck in Cervicogenic and Primary Headache.

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