I’m now back to living my life migraine free thanks to Apex Headache Clinic

38-year-old ICU nurse Gemma Hunter from Belfast, suffered with severe migraines which affected every aspect of her daily life. After thinking migraines and headaches were something she would have to live with, she visited Apex Headache Clinic in the hope that she would get 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 finally got her life back on track. 

Gemma, when did your migraines begin?

I had taken the odd migraine since I was a teenager, but I was able to treat these with painkillers and after sleeping the pain would subside. In the build up to having my worst severe migraine episode earlier this year, I had been having headaches every day for 2 weeks. Just before this I had got my covid vaccine and had started a new job which was quite stressful, so I just put the headaches down to side effects from the vaccine along with the stress of starting a new job. When this severe migraine episode hit, I had never experienced anything like it before. I had to go to A&E where they initially thought I had a bleed on my brain as the pain was so intense and I was vomiting too. They did some investigations including a CT scan of my brain but when they all came back ok, I was told it was an atypical migraine and they weren’t sure why it had presented so badly. I was then having 2-3 severe migraines a week which were horrendous.

How did the migraines affect your life?

When this severe migraine episode happened in April 2021, I couldn’t get out of bed for around 4 weeks. I couldn’t go to work and I had to take 3 months off. It affected every aspect of my life, I couldn’t do anything.

What led you to Apex Headache Clinic?

After having this terrible migraine episode I ended up with vertigo too and my GP recommended I try physio. After being referred for a virtual physio consultation elsewhere through my GP I was recommended some exercises to do but after being so unwell I wasn’t up to doing them. I then did my own research and came across Apex Headache Clinic online and I saw that the physios there were Headache and Migraine Specialists. I read testimonials of other patients who had been in the same position as myself and how they had got relief from their headaches and migraines and I thought I would give it a go. I had nothing to lose at that point, I was off work and I couldn’t drive due to my vertigo so I went ahead and made an appointment for an initial consultation.

How has your life changed since having treatment?

I didn’t realise I had a physical problem with my neck until I went for treatment at Apex Headache Clinic and during the initial consultation, I was told that my migraines and vertigo were stemming from my neck as opposed to stress like I had thought. I had been having a burning sensation from my shoulder, up my neck and into my head. It was so worrying for me because I didn’t know why this pain came on, I knew I hadn’t hurt myself. My specialist physio was able to find the source of this pain and over the course of my treatment this pain became less and less. My treatment sessions were frequent at the beginning and then were spaced out to once a month for maintenance. I have been able to go back to work fully and function again on a daily basis. I have had such great improvement and I haven’t had a migraine in 3 months now. It’s amazing!

What advice would you offer someone suffering from headaches?

Definitely go to Apex Headache Clinic for a consultation and don’t wait until it gets as severe as my migraines did. If you suffer from migraines which are affecting your everyday life, don’t keep taking painkillers, book an appointment and get to the root cause of the problem. After having treatment at Apex Headache Clinic, I am no longer living in the shadow of when another migraine is going to strike, and I have got back to living my life free from migraines.

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