How Novera: Headache Center Was Born
Dr. Taves here. I started Novera with one goal in mind - making a difference in the lives of those who had given up hope of finding a solution. This is our story.
I didn't start out my career focused on headaches and migraines, but I'm so glad it's brought me here. After receiving my degree in exercise science, I went on to the Mayo Clinic to receive a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. During my time in PT school I was introduced to a local PT (Wieber PT, look him up if you are in MN) who taught a course on how to treat the neck and jaw. This sparked my interest and I realized that there was a lesser known form of treatment that had the potential for much greater impact on the patient’s life. After graduation I pursued other PTs and coursework that would further my understanding of treating the neck as it relates to headaches. At this time, I had a limited understanding of migraines (as do most). “Migraines are for the neurologist to treat, it’s a neurological problem, there is no true way for a PT to help if a patient has a migraine diagnosis.” These are all misconceptions within the industry - and very real barriers to a PT feeling confident in treating someone with migraines. What happened, though, was a shift in my thinking when patient after patient saw substantially more relief than anything they had tried before through the application of these hands-on techniques to treat the neck.
From there, I started to question why more PTs weren’t doing this, and why these patients were going decades or a lifetime with medication as their only form of treatment. What I found motivated me to jump into this form of treatment with confidence as the available research left me with more questions than answers, the medical doctors didn’t know what the “cause” was, so they were left to symptom management. The problem seemed twofold, PT’s not feeling confident enough to treat the neck or even dare treat someone for migraines, and the MDs trying to help but equipped and trained in a model that is heavily driven by pharmaceutical interventions.
So, I worked for a couple outpatient clinics, attempting to see as many headache and migraine patients as possible. The vision of Novera surfaced when I realized that the majority of headache and migraine sufferers were skeptical that PT could help, they had been let down so many times that many were near hopeless. To add to the distrust, general PT practices are open gym settings and heavily based on exercise, two things that most people with headaches and migraines find challenging. If I wanted to create a shift in how people understood headaches and migraines I needed to build trust and show a deeper level of understanding than what the general PT practice had to offer. In January of 2019 Novera: Headache Center was born and built specifically for the patient with headaches and migraines that is feeling hopeless and tired of relying on medication, not knowing where to turn. The mission is to empower everyone with headaches and migraines to break free from a life of fear of your next headache or migraine and dependence on medication so that they can thrive in everything they do.
If you have headaches or migraines and are still searching for a solution, Novera was built just for you.