Physical And Massage Therapy
Our doctors offer a range of both active and passive physical therapies to treat migraines. Active physical therapy can include stretching, range-of-motion, and pain-relief exercises, which tend to be particularly effective for patients whose disorder is affected by problems in the neck or jaw. Passive therapies include massage, hot and cold therapy, and pain relief ointments. Massage has been shown to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks as well as helping the patient to relax, which is a big component of pain relief.
Occipital Nerve Blocks
A nerve block is an injection of an anesthetic and sometimes a steroid directly into a nerve. The anesthetic prevents the nerve from transmitting pain signals to the brain, thus bringing quick relief. The greater, lesser, and third occipital nerves, which originate in the upper cervical spine near the base of the skull, are frequently targeted with this treatment, as they control sensation in the back of the neck and head. In some cases, doctors may also recommend a stellate ganglion block. This ganglion is a cluster of nerve tissue located on either side of the vocal cords, and it is associated with pain in the face.
Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point injections involve the injection of an anesthetic (typically lidocaine) and a steroid intended to reduce local inflammation. The doctor administers the injection into the muscle tissue and soft tissue where pain is thought to originate. Trigger points typically develop in muscles that have been injured, and when the tissue is irritated, pain may be produced beyond the local area. Patients who have easy-to-detect trigger points are likely to get the most relief from trigger point injections, which can reduce both pain and frequency of headaches for weeks at a time
Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections
Recent studies have shown that many severe headaches are cervicogenic, meaning that they originate in the neck. As a result, our doctors have found that cervical and upper cervical epidural injections are offering both migraine and headache pain relief. Doctors inject a combination of a local anesthetic and a long-lasting steroid into the epidural space of the cervical spinal canal where nerve roots are located. In one study, over 70% of patients reported immediate pain relief after this procedure.
Botox Migraine Treatment
Botox is known as a cosmetic treatment, but it has proven to be effective in treating migraines, especially for patients who have 15 or more headaches per month. The treatment involves injecting tiny amounts of Botox, a neurotoxin, into multiple sites on the head and neck. The injections block the release of certain chemicals that transmit pain signals. Most patients report a significant decrease in the frequency of headaches they experience.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, or NSAIDs, are frequently used to treat migraine headaches, and they include such familiar medicines as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. They are available over-the-counter as well as in prescription-strength formulas, and they work by blocking certain proteins and enzymes that cause inflammation. These medications can be used to treat mild to moderate migraine symptoms effectively.
Analgesics include a wide variety of painkillers. Because migraine sufferers may have multiple symptoms or symptoms that are best treated with more than one drug, doctors may prescribe a combination of several medications to treat an individual’s unique symptoms. Combination analgesics often include caffeine, which can help the body absorb the medication, as well as aspirin, acetaminophen, and codeine. For severe headaches, combination analgesics can be more effective than NSAIDs.
Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that uses radio waves to temporarily disable nerves involved in migraine headache pain. A needle-like probe is inserted into the skin, usually in the back of the neck, and targets certain nerves with radio waves. About 75% of patients who have this treatment report total pain relief that lasts for up to one year.
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