Updates to Promote Optimism in Migraine Treatments
Migraine is never a pleasant experience, which is why it would be practical for its sufferers to constantly look for the condition’s treatments. The various methods involved in treating migraine may vary and it’s mostly helpful for you to the advice of your doctor. This way, you can gather the solutions which can effectively help you to get better.
However, it is important to note how some drugs may lead migraine patients to suffering from Cognitive Impairments or even Dementia for older adults. This is why it’s additionally necessary for you to consider the long term impacts of your chosen medicines, so you can ensure they’ll provide you with more good than harm. Here are some helpful alternative treamtments for migraines that will help you ease or reduce your migraine pains.
When headache pain has you in its grip, a fast-acting headache remedy is a top priority. Some headache remedies come in the form of medication. But there are also many ways to achieve natural headache relief. Feeling better may require a combination of treatments.
Headache remedies for migraine headaches are usually prescription drugs, such as
- beta blockers: atenolol (Tenormin); bisoprolol (Zebeta)
- tricyclics: amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep); doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan)
- calcium-channel blockers: verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan)
- anticonvulsants: divalproex (Depakote); gabapentin (Neurontin); topimirate (Topamax)
- triptans: almotriptan (Axert); eletriptan (Relpax); sumatriptan (Imitrex).
Triptans are meant for acute treatment of migraines, while all the other categories are meant for chronic prevention of migraines.
You must talk to a doctor in order to get a prescription. The drugs are not available over the counter.
While there are also prescription medications for other types of headaches, such as tension headaches or sinus headaches, over-the-counter (OTC) headache remedies may be enough to relieve the pain they bring. OTC pills are available without a prescription, but as the Harvard Medical School Special Health Report Headaches: Relieving and preventing migraines and other headaches notes, they are medications and must be used carefully.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) is a generally safe non-aspirin headache remedy. But doses above 3 grams per day, especially when combined with alcohol, can cause potentially fatal liver damage. If you consume three or more alcoholic drinks a day, every day, don’t take acetaminophen.
- Aspirin quells pain and may prevent migraine headaches in some people when taken regularly. Long-term side effects include kidney damage and gastrointestinal problems, such as stomach pain, heartburn, or nausea. Bleeding from the stomach can also occur, often in such minute quantities as to go unnoticed. However, over time anemia may result, causing fatigue— which, in turn, may increase the frequency of headaches. Avoid aspirin if you have reflux, gastritis, or ulcers.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox), and ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, others). In some people, NSAIDs help prevent migraine headaches. Their long-term side effects are similar to those for aspirin.
Most healthy people who have mild to moderately painful headaches once in a while can take OTC headache remedies. But if you need to take an OTC painkiller several times a week, you should see your doctor.
Natural headache relief
Some people feel more comfortable seeking natural headache relief, in the form of plant-based or mineral supplements. Some of the most widely used preparations include:
- Butterbur, an herb derived from plants in the genus Petasites
- Feverfew, A daisy-like flower native to Europe
- Peppermint oil, a culinary herb
- Magnesium, a mineral
- Coenzyme Q10 , an enzyme found in mitochondria, the energy factories of our cells
- Vitamin B12
Consult your doctor before taking any of these supplements, as they can interact with medications to treat headaches or other conditions. The FDA does not regulate the effectiveness or safety of these products.
Activities that help
You may need more than just a pill for a headache remedy. Certain activities are also effective at relieving pain. For example, half of all headache sufferers in the United States use some type of mind-body technique to alleviate the pain. These include:
- relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing
- hypnosis, a state of deep relaxation that is similar to being in a trance
- stress management
These mind-body therapies can help lower stress, a widely accepted headache trigger, and they also promote healthier lifestyle habits, such as getting adequate sleep, to keep headaches at bay.
Exercise, if performed regularly, is another natural headache remedy. It helps keep the heart and blood vessels healthy. It also boosts your mood, relieves stress, and helps prevent a host of ailments, such as high blood pressure.
Other natural headache relief
If your own natural headache remedies aren’t effective, consider alternatives, such as:
- Acupuncture: According to traditional Chinese beliefs, acupuncture works by affecting the flow of energy through pathways that run through the body.
- Psychotherapy: This can help you manage the effects that headaches have on your life, as well as the stresses and anxieties that may aggravate your pain.
- Physical therapy: This can provide relief for tension headaches and migraines by relaxing the tense muscles that commonly accompany tension and migraine headaches.
Seeking professional help
If headaches occur on a regular basis, it’s important to speak to your doctor, to see if an underlying condition is to blame, such as a medication side effect or a blood vessel abnormality.
Start with your primary care physician. You may be referred to a neurologist, who might order tests based on your symptoms. Once you have a diagnosis of the causes of your headaches, your doctor will be able to help you devise strategies for effective headache remedies.
If you’re suffering from harmful migraine, consult a chicago migraine clinics specialist and they will able to give you the proper advice and medical treatment that will help you to ease your pain and provide you with the best proper medicine and effective treatments to manage your migraine and headache.
Other than drugs and medication, medical research has been conducted to help people with migraine and headache sufferer can reduce the stress and tension of their conditions. Thorough research and development of new medicines and technology has been made by medical companies as well doctor to develop latest cure for migraines and headaches. A recent research has been made regarding the (CGRP) and is now being tested by selected to individuals who have migraines to test the new innovation of treatment for migraine and the success rate.
There is building excitement for new calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antibodies that may serve as good preventive treatments for headaches and migraines, but outside of this, there have not been many new medical innovations for the pharmaceutical treatment of headache and migraine.
With a lack of development in the lab, much attention has been put on complementary treatments for the relief of headache.
An article recently published in the Journal of Headache and Pain by Giorgio Lambru, MD, and colleagues reviewed the efficacy of high frequency spinal cord stimulation in chronic refractory primary headaches.1 The study included 7 patients who had some form of refractory chronic headache and were nonresponsive to several conventional medications as well as Botulinum toxin type A. Participants underwent a 2 week trial of the procedure, in which they had 1 or 2 leads placed in the epidural space in the thoracic region that was connected to an external stimulator, targeting the dorsal columns in the C2-3 vertebral level. After a two week trial period, leads were planted permanently if the trial was considered successful.
Four of the chronic migraine patients were considered to have a successful trial period, in which they had at least a 50% decrease in headache intensity or frequency. The researchers noted that all of these patients were thought to be overusing medication at the time. Two of the patients were also taking a daily preventive medication for their chronic headaches.
The patients were followed up with from 12-40 months after the procedure. All participants noticed improvements, with at least a 50% decline in the monthly number of headaches as well as decreased number of days of which they needed to take an abortive or pain medication. One of the patients was also able to stop using his preventive treatment. All the patients were given continuous stimulation and patients noticed worsening when they were turned off. There were no major side effects, except worsening of headache pain, which was thought to be due to a lead malfunction.
Two patients with SUNA-syndrome also had leads implanted. One of the patients described 70% relief while the other reported complete relief of attack, although initially the right settings needed to be found for the implant. One patient with cluster headache who also had leads implanted reported approximately 50% relief.
Overall, this seems like a promising treatment for patients with refractory chronic headaches and for those with a variety of underlying primary headaches. It is thought to work by modulating the trigeminocervical complex in the dorsal columns at the level of C2-3 vertebral bodies. This mode may have advantages over occipital nerve stimulators, including a more rapid response and lower risk of side effects.
Another complementary technique that has recently shown promising results is noninvasive neurotechnology that uses sound to help with migraines. The method may also help with blood pressure and heart rate variability.2 This technique was presented in a session as part of the American Heart Association’s Council on Hypertension 2016 Scientific Sessions. Called high-resolution, relational, resonance based, electroencephalic mirroring (HIRREM®), it uses sensors that measure electrical activity in the brain to detect differences between the 2 hemispheres. Presenting researcher Hossam A. Shaltout, RPh, PhD, Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina believes that imbalance between the 2 sides of the brain may be a result of autonomic dysregulation due to chronic stress. The brain activity is reflected as audible tones which allow for regulation and balance between the 2 sides.
Thankfully there are many other treatments which can effectively handle the pain related to migraine. It is best to consult with a doctor if you are wondering about your various options for migraine treatments and a complete approach in treating musculoskeletal related disorders.