HeadWise HeadWise: Volume 6, Issue 2 - Page 33

HOW CAN NECK PAIN be a protector for migraine attacks? Alec Mian, PhD, CEO and Founder of Curelator Inc. Cambridge, MA This article is based on an interview with Helen P, one of the initial users of Curelator Headache Map. Curelator Headache was featured in HeadWise 2015; 5:22-25. It is a digital tool that allows individuals to track and discover the various factors associated with migraine headaches. Alec Mian: Helen P has the distinction of being the first in a group of users in whom neck pain surprisingly turned up as a protector. Helen P: When you first interviewed me months ago, I was definitely puzzled to see neck pain on my Protector Map™! Did anyone else have neck pain as a protector on their maps? Alec: Neck pain is commonly thought to be a warning sign or a symptom of a migraine attack. So far, and it is early days, we have found seven other users who have neck pain as a protector on their maps. I have interviewed a couple of them and their responses were similar to Helen’s response. When people experi- ence neck pain, they may do a variety of things - apply a heat pad, lie down, stretch. Therefore, all of these things become associated with that person’s neck pain. So my first question to anyone with an unexpected protector or trigger is, “What things were you doing when you recorded that factor?” That’s why, in our initial interview I asked, “What do you do when you get neck pain?” www.headaches.org | National Headache Foundation 33