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Conference to discuss new headache treatment

Conference to discuss new headache treatment

A new treatment for headaches that are quite literally a pain in the neck will be under the spotlight at a meeting of New Zealand physiotherapists this weekend.

Associate Professor Gwen Jull, a world authority in whiplash injury, the neck and headaches will be talking to 200 members of the New Zealand Manipulative Physiotherapists Association about the results of new research on neck-related headaches, and the exercises that can bring sufferers relief.

She’s head of Department of Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland and has been in demand around the world since successful trial results of the new treatment approach were published.

“Neck-related headaches are the third most common cause of frequent intermittent headaches that go on for years. The first is tension and the second migraine.”

She says her team has been researching the type of problems that occur in the neck muscles.

“In being able to understand what goes wrong in the muscle system – we have developed these newer forms of therapeutic exercise for rehabilitation.”

Gwen Jull says the relief from headache lasts and the exercises are easily taught.

“The exercises focus on helping the person make the deep muscles in their neck and their shoulder blades work properly again. What we have shown is that it is these deep muscles that support the joints.”

She says specific exercises re-educate the deep muscles. People are also taught how to make the muscles in the lower part of their shoulder blade work and that supports the shoulder girdle and takes the stress off the neck.

“What the exercises are doing is increasing the supporting capacity of the deep muscles within the neck – taking the load away from poor posture of the shoulder girdles and arms. The result is relief of neck pain and headaches.” More

2/pain in the neck headache treatment

Associate Professor Jull will be giving two papers at the Auckland conference. One paper describes what goes wrong with the neck muscles and the type of exercises people can do and the second about whiplash injury.

After the conference she will run a two-day special course for New Zealand physiotherapists on the new exercise treatment.

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