COVID-19 restrictions to remain in place at The Walton Centre

Restrictions remain in place across the NHS in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety measures in place over the 18 months therefore remain in place at The Walton Centre - and in our other clinic settings within the community – until further notice.

Due to the increased transmission risk posed by the Omicron variant, visiting has been suspended within The Walton Centre except for exceptional circumstances.

Making it to the Tokyo Olympic Games – with help from The Walton Centre

Date: 23 July 2021

Andrew W

One of Team GB’s Lead Physiotherapists Andrew Walling made it to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, thanks to The Walton Centre effectively treating his Cluster Headaches.

From the age of 15, Andrew has experienced cluster headaches, which are excruciating attacks of pain in one side of the head, often felt around the eye.

He said: “The pain is like nothing you’ve ever felt before. It starts off with one or two headaches a day, but then ramps up to three or four and they are so bad I have to lie down in a darkened room. Afterwards I’m exhausted.”

Andrew was diagnosed with the condition in his 20s and since then has been treated by The Walton Centre to prevent the painful headaches. When he told his clinician Dr Nick Silver he was getting signs of a relapse weeks before the start of the Olympic Games, the team knew what to do.

Andrew said: “Dr Silver called me and arranged for me to come in for a nerve block injection. I was seen within days and the headaches just disappeared. It was amazingly quick and I can’t thank the team enough. The treatment is excellent and it means I can support our top athletes during the long awaited Tokyo Olympic Games.”

Originally from Salford, the 48 year old flew out to Japan last week to join the team in the training village in Tokyo.

Consultant Neurologist Dr Nick Silver specialises in the management of severe and refractory headache disorders. He said: “Cluster headache is one of the most severe pain disorders known to mankind.

“As a Regional Headache Centre that specialises in the management of severe and refractory headache disorders, we receive referrals from around the UK, and it is really important to manage patients with cluster headache in a timely fashion, as this disorder my cause huge disability, distress and disruption to normal working and family life.

“Cluster headache can completely take over normal life and cause severe sleep disruption, mood disturbance, fatigue and difficulties with normal concentration. We are actively engaged in the pursuit and research of new treatments to be able to offer patients increased options to manage their disorder successfully.”

For many patients, the use of urgent nerve blocks can help send in signals to the nerve circuits within the brain that have disordered function to suppress the painful attacks successfully and help turn off other symptoms as well. These are done as in the outpatients department and involve an injection of local anaesthetic with or without steroid near nerves around the head that feed into these headache pain networks.



Notes to editors

Further information, or to arrange a visit contact the Communications Team on 0151 556 3397 or email

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is the only hospital trust in the UK specialising in neurology, neurosurgery and pain services. It has twice been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. Although the majority of patients come from Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, Lancashire and the Isle of Man, for some specialist treatments of complex disorders we see patients from all parts of the country, referred by their GPs or other neurologists, neurosurgeons and pain clinicians.

For more information please visit: or follow the Trust on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Lower Lane, Fazakerley, Liverpool L9 7LJ
0151 525 3611



  • Summary:

    One of Team GB’s Lead Physiotherapists Andrew Walling made it to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, thanks to The Walton Centre effectively treating his Cluster Headaches.