Innovative Treatment for Migraine Headaches
Migraines are often debilitating, affecting 38 million Americans, but select treatments can help block the pain and improve quality of life.
Migraine headaches last for hours or days, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
More than 90 percent of migraine sufferers miss work or can't function normally during an attack.
75% of migraine sufferers are women, which may be related to hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy.
2-3 million people suffer from chronic migraine, defined as migraines that occur at least 15 days per month for 3 months.
Chronic migraines reduce quality of life, including increased depression, anxiety and pain medication overuse.
Pain-blocking treatments can help.
There are two potential approaches depending on a person's diagnosis. Both use injections in the head, neck and shoulders and target the nerve network that transmits the pain of a migraine.
- Botox for migraine
- Who it's for: People with chronic migraines for whom traditional treatments are unsuccessful
- Goal: Long-term pain relief
- Duration: Injections are typically repeated every 3 months as long as needed
- How it works: It's believed to be absorbed and taken up by the muscles and nerves of the head, keeping the nerves from sending pain signals
- No serious side effects
- Eliminates need for daily medication
- Cumulative improvement – effect is better with each treatment
- Nerve block for migraine
- Who it's for: People with migraines starting a new treatment, or who can't take traditional medications for a time (such as during pregnancy)
- Goal: Relieve pain until another treatment or preventative medication takes effect
- Duration: Each injection offers relief for anywhere from several days to a few weeks or months
- How it works: Injections are targeted at the nerves in the area where the headaches occur and prevent pain signals from traveling along them
- Fast relief
- Performed in an office visit rather than an ER
- Allows people to avoid powerful pain medications that may have serious side effects
Control pain so it doesn't control you.
Talk to a doctor if headaches are impacting your quality of life
Examining symptoms and performing tests can allow a doctor to find the right treatment for a specific person
Controlling pain gives people control
Without migraine pain, people are free to enjoy everyday life and be present for important moments
Sources: MayoClinic.org; Migraine.com; Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.gov; AmericanMigraineFoundation.org.