Apex Headache Clinic has transformed my life

59-year-old Ruth Neill from Lisburn had been suffering with migraines with aura (visual disturbance) as long as she could remember. This was having a massive impact on her life and after trying everything, with no relief, she visited Apex Headache Clinic in the hope of getting to the source of the problem. Here, she shares how the clinic’s unique regime of specialist manual physiotherapy treatment for migraines and headaches, called The Nelson Headache Approach™, cleared her migraines, meaning that she could finally start to enjoy her life again.

Ruth, when did your migraines begin?

My migraines began when I was 14 years old. I have migraines with aura and the first time it happened to me, I started to feel strange and didn’t know what was happening. I had an aunt who had had a stroke and I thought I was taking a stroke. After the aura symptoms subsided, I had a buzzing headache but I thought it was just from the stress of what had happened and not knowing what had caused it. I was seeing my GP for another problem and when I mentioned what I now know to be auras he said, “that’s a migraine”. I was surprised as I thought a migraine was a terrible headache where you would have to go and lie in a dark room with the lights off until it passed. I hadn’t heard of migraines with aura before. I have suffered with these migraines with aura for most of my life. Over the years I tried everything, from herbal treatments to medication prescribed by my GP. This medication helped a bit at the time but the side effects of the tablets left me feeling so awful for about 4 or 5 days after a migraine attack and a couple of years ago the medication stopped being as effective.

How did the migraines affect your life?

The visual aura for me was often the worst part, I would lose my vision and it affected my speech. The only way I can describe it is like being put in a washing machine. Then I knew the awful headache would come afterwards and I would need to get into bed and sleep until it passed. This wasn’t always possible when I was at work and when a migraine would strike, I couldn’t drive myself home. I owned my own business so it would have affected me financially if I had to close the business when I took a severe migraine and on the days when I had a migraine at work, the whole day was in chaos. The stigma of migraines really affected me also. I found that people didn’t really understand what I was dealing with and thought it was just a little headache and if you took paracetamol it would be ok but It was very debilitating for me.

What led you to Apex Headache Clinic?

Around a year and a half ago, I was suffering with migraines almost every day and my GP prescribed me with betablockers. When I looked up the side effects, I really didn’t want to start taking them and was desperate to find an alternative solution. I found Apex Headache Clinic on Google. I had read other patient’s stories on their website, and I could see how much the treatment at Apex Clinic had helped them but I thought my migraines were different as I had the aura and I hadn’t had an injury or any tension or pain in my neck, so I was sceptical at first. I was at my wits end and I thought I may as well give it a go; I had tried everything else and felt I had nothing to lose.

How has your life changed since having treatment?

After I started treatment at Apex Headache Clinic, I started to feel that it was working, my migraines started to reduce in frequency and severity. I also felt I had the support and understanding of my specialist physiotherapist which was very valuable to me at that time. I was always worried that I would take a migraine at a crucial time or when I was out as they were so unpredictable. My appointments with my specialist physiotherapist are now spaced out to once every 6-8 weeks and my migraines are 99% cleared. I have had an odd migraine with a slight aura feeling but it didn’t develop into a full aura and the headache can be sorted by taking paracetamol so I can totally get on with my day.

What advice would you offer someone suffering from migraines?

Don’t suffer with migraines and don’t accept that it has to be that way. Give Apex Headache Clinic a go and try to avoid having to take the stronger migraine medications. My mother always said, “your health is your wealth” and I feel that treatment at Apex Headache Clinic has transformed my life.

To book an appointment at Apex Headache Clinic, call 028 9048 4153. No GP referral is necessary.