The 20th Oxford Headache Conference

Spring was in the air at the 20th Oxford Headache Conference at the beautiful Worcester College recently. This conference has been organised by Dr Ben Wakerley for the past decade and has some very faithful regular attendees.

It was my first time and I have to report, I will definitely want to go again.

It’s always so inspiring to connect with colleagues from various disciplines. This time we had representatives from Primary care, Secondary care, physiotherapy, osteopathy, and the Third sector.

Topics included case studies and unusual therapies

Topics included various case studies on unusual presentations of such things as thunderclap headache, RCVS, Hemicrania Continua and CSF leak. We had an update on the use of the new CGRP infusion in one centre and other therapies.

Alternatives to medication?

We also discussed potentially interesting interventions. A clip of the film ‘100 days of Vitamin Sea’ highlighted the issues around cold-water swimming. There are benefits and dangers but it’s certainly a popular activity recently, judging by social media posts I have seen. The use of coloured lenses to reduce visual stress after assessment by Intuitive colorimetry was fascinating too.

One speaker, in a more philosophical talk, debated why we are very unlikely as clinicians to ask our patients about their spiritual beliefs and questioned the use of prayer as a therapeutic modality.  Should we be considering adding this to our list of clinical questions? He reviewed the scientific studies which have tried to look at praying as a therapeutic intervention.

Networking is so important

Dinner at Malmaison was a chance to network. I feel communication between fellow professionals is always one of the highlights for me at conferences and I value these new contacts greatly. There was, of course, from me, the compulsory advert for joining our BASH community.

There was an excellent lunch at the Ashmolean Rooftop restaurant to finish the course.

Two learning points for me were about Eagle Syndrome and also the use of Intuitive colorimetry currently being explored by Professor Arnold Wilkins for helping relieve Cluster Headache attacks. Please consider signposting your Cluster Headache patients to him and watch out for further information on this topic from him soon.

Many thanks for a great course!

A wonderful course and many thanks to Dr Ben Wakerley for his organisational hard work!

See you next year?

There will be another Oxford Headache Conference next year -watch out for details on our Events page from January. Places are limited to about 35 people to encourage the informal, learning environment so sign up quickly when the registration link appears!

Dr Katy Munro

BASH Secretary

Senior GPwER in Headache, National Migraine Centre

Host of Heads Up podcast

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GPs with Extended Role in Headache met at Kings
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