My main issue is 24/7 disequilibrium too - apparently there’s a lot of us on this “boat”!
I’ve been diagnosed with Vestibular Migraine, and it started all of a sudden in October 2014, after being sick with a bad head cold/sinus infection, and just hasn’t gone away.
For the first few months I had no pain/headache, but then began having pain off and on. I also had nausea, bad motion sickness, and blurriness/aura in my left eye. At my worst I also had horrible brain fog, difficulty understanding what was being said to me, and difficulty finding words (expressive and receptive dysphasia) - it was like my IQ had been dialed waaayyyy down. I also have a terrible time with fluorescent lights, and too much visual stimuli - like shopping centres, supermarkets, crowds etc
I was on 50mg Topamax when I started the Watson PT, but have since come off the Topamax as I didn’t think it was doing much (if anything). I initially wanted to try a higher dose of Topamax first to see if that helped but it made me so horribly dizzier when I tried to titrate up, that I gave up. I do wonder if maybe I gave up too quickly.
The Watson PT was 2 sessions a week for the fist two weeks, then one session a week for the next 2-3 weeks. Generally if you respond to treatment, 4-5 sessions total should be enough for most people, with then just the occasional maintenance treatment when you feel you need it.
Basically the theory (as I interpreted it) is that problems with your upper cervical spine cause a type of sensory overload of the brainstem as it’s right at the base of the skull, which for migrainers triggers the migraine response. Dean Watson explains it much better though; http://www.watsonheadache.com/about-watson-headache-approach/
The treatment is a series of non manipulative (no ‘cracking’) techniques applied in a systematic way. It feels a bit like pressure point type massage. It can be a bit uncomfortable at times (similar to the way sports or deep tissue massage can be) and at other times I almost go to sleep.
The C2 in particular is linked with vertigo/balance problems - mine was deviated quite badly to the right when I first went in, and this was also the side I was having neck/shoulder pain.
I felt no improvement during the first treatment, however the next morning I woke up with major improvement. Overnight I went from walking zigzags, rocking, swaying, and bouncing off the walls like a pinball to almost being able to walk a straight line, no rocking. The next few treatments saw a bit more improvement in balance, my eye aura/blurriness stopped, my nausea disappeared and the motion sickness was greatly reduced, and my brain fog lifted making me feel like a semi-intelligent person once again! I also had no pain in between treatments.
I did have trouble maintaining the improvement beyond 2 weeks after a session. I have since discovered I have loose ligaments (a.k.a. hypermobility), meaning I’m much more flexible than most people, and my ligaments don’t retract or stay tight like a regular person. Basically they’d pop my C1-2 vertabrae back in line and I’d feel great, but my loose ligaments weren’t able to hold them there so it’d all just go back out of alignment again. I now have special exercises for my neck and shoulders to help strengthen them and can go 2-3 months between PT appointments now.
For me it wasn’t enough to completely fix me, and I still am unable to drive, or work. However it has been a major improvement, and the only thing to have helped so far, as none of the drugs I’ve tried have helped the balance problems. I still have blurriness in my eye that comes and goes, motion sickness (but nowhere near as bad as it was), can’t handle shopping centres or fluoru lights etc, and difficulty using/focusing on computers for very long, but my boat is on very gentle waters now.
I’m currently on 100mg Metoprolol - this has taken almost all the head pain away!!! I haven’t had anything worse than very occasional very very mild migraine pain since starting this drug.
I’m also on 37.5mg of Effexor XR (extended release) - not sure yet if this is helping the balance or not, but at least I feel less depressed. It also hasn’t made me gain weight, which is a rare thing for me when it comes to drugs!