Physios learn headache treatment from world expert

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Pilbara Physiotherapy principal physiotherapist David Rigby and international headache and migraine clinician and teacher Dean Watson.
Camera IconPilbara Physiotherapy principal physiotherapist David Rigby and international headache and migraine clinician and teacher Dean Watson. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Physiotherapists from across regional WA met in Karratha last month for the rare chance to learn headache and migraine treatment techniques from a world expert in the field.

Dean Watson, an international clinician and teacher in headache and migraine treatment, ran a three-day course for about 12 local and visiting physiotherapists at Pilbara Physiotherapy’s The Rehab Room last week.

The Karratha course was organised by Pilbara Physiotherapy and financially supported by Rural Health West, with physiotherapists from Paraburdoo, Carnarvon, Bunbury and Margaret River travelling to attend.

Dr Watson said his method of treating headache was a more effective alternative to the mainstream option of managing it with medication.

“My philosophy, from my clinical experience of over 28,000 hours with over 8000 people with many different forms of headache, is that the neck is underestimated significantly as a cause of headache and migraine,” he said.

“This course is about teaching people how to go about implementing a series of techniques, in a clinical reasoning process, to determine the relevance of disorders in the upper neck to someone’s headache and migraine.”

Pilbara Physiotherapy principal physiotherapist David Rigby said Dr Watson was one of the experts in his field in Australia and it was “hard to believe” he had come to Karratha.

“Two of our clients who have experienced significant symptoms for over seven years, both of their cases were resolved within the session, which is dramatic,” he said.

“The physios are amazed with the techniques that we’ve been shown and the new information that we can use to treat migraines and headaches effectively and completely change people’s daily lives and quality of living.”

He said Pilbara Physiotherapy staff intended to put the skills they had learned into practice locally to “make a change in the health landscape of the Pilbara”.

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