Posted by: Samantha | 2009/07/07

Migraine - Neck Operation?

I have been battling with migraines for years now. I recently found out that I have injured my neck while I was still in primary school (29 years ago) and it shows that my neck is actually ' skew' . Is there any type of operation I can go for to have my neck ' rectified'  or is it too late? My migraines have been getting worst and I am in trouble at work, because my collegues have no idea what a migraine is - I need to find a solution fast.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Samantha,
Your primary school injury is most unlikely to be the underlying cause of your migraines. If your neck is ‘skew’, it is most likely because you have muscle tension affecting your neck muscles, and your neck is being held in the skew position by the tense muscles. Having said that, the only way to get to the root of the problem, is to have what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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