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Migraine: Treatment And Management

Dr. Shahzad Anwar

3 min read

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Living with Migraine headache is often challenging as it can last for hours, and the throbbing or pulsating pain that a patient suffers during a Migraine episode can be too much to bear. Often it is also accompanied with additional symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness and sensitivity to light, sounds and smells. If you suffer from Migraine, read on to learn about various treatment options to help you effectively deal with it.

Is there a cure for migraine?

There is no cure for migraine. However, there are numerous treatments available that may help in management of migraine.

What are different types of treatment options available for management of migraine?

Migraine treatment depends on various factors, including your age, overall health and medical history, and on the severity and the frequency of migraine episodes. Migraine treatments include life style changes, medications, injections, and supplements.

What are different types of life style changes that may help in migraine?

There are multiple environmental variables that can act as triggers for migraine. Identification and modification of these triggers can help prevent or reduce frequency of migraine headache episodes. Example of such changes include,  regular sleep and meals, light-moderate exercise, smoking cessation, and avoiding excess of caffeine (tea, coffee, or soft drinks), processed or canned foods, chocolates, alcohol, and emotional or physical stressors.

What are different types of medications that may help in migraine?

There are various types of medications available that have been particularly designed for the treatment of migraine. Some medications that are often used for treatment of other medical conditions also may help relieve or prevent migraines. In general, medications fall into two broad categories:

  • Pain-relieving medications:
    These are also referred to as abortive These types of medications help in stopping or reducing the intensity of migraine headache. They are designed to be taken during the episode of migraine.
  • Headache preventing medications:
    These are also referred to as preventative or prophylactic These types of medications are taken on a daily basis. They help in reducing the severity or frequency of migraines.

What types of injections are used in treatment of migraine?

There are many different types of injections that can help in relieving pain during the episode of migraine, or reduce the frequency and the severity of migraine episodes. Common types of injections for migraine include:

  • Botulinum toxin injections:
    These injections are particularly helpful for individuals who have headaches on more than 15 days a month. They are administered periodically after every 3 months, and may help in reducing the frequency and the severity of headaches.
  • Trigger point injections:
    These injections are given into the muscles of jaw and neck region. They help in reducing pain associated with muscle disorders that may contribute or act as a trigger to migraine headache.
  • Nerve blocks:
    These injections limit pain associated with headaches by blocking the signals sent by various nerves in the head, face, and neck region to the brain. They help in stopping the pain and reducing the frequency of headache episodes.

What kind of supplements help in treatment of migraine?

Multiple herbal and dietary supplements have shown to be helpful in reducing the frequency and the severity of migraine. The most evidence supports the use of magnesium, vitamin B2, and coenzyme Q10. Before starting any supplements talk with your doctor to see if these are the right choice for you.

Are there any side effects of migraine treatments?

Most of the treatments are safe and have low potential of causing any side effects. The likelihood of you experiencing any side effects depends on the medication and your overall health and medical history. Common side effects include sleepiness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, muscle and joint aches, and soreness at the site of injection.

Nevertheless, there are certain types of medications and injections that should be avoided in pregnant females, females who are planning to become pregnant, or nursing.

Can my migraines still be treated in pregnancy?

Fortunately migraines improve from the third month of the pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor if migraine is an issue while you are pregnant. There are certain medications that can be helpful and safely used during pregnancy. In addition, there are various home remedies, such as cold compression, massaging the area of pain and relaxation exercises, which might help as well.

Can medications make my headaches worse?

Yes, sometimes if pain-relief medicines are used for more than 10 days a month, it can set off a cycle of medication-induced headache or rebound headache. As each dose of medicine wears off, the headache comes back, resulting in more use of medications. This overuse causes the medicine to result as a trigger for the headaches. They can also occur if a patient of migraine takes pain-relief medication for another type of pain.

There are numerous types of treatments available that may help you in managing your migraine. Not everyone responds to these treatment options in the same way. However, together with your doctor you should be able to find ways to treat an episode, as well as reducing the occurrence of future episodes of migraine.

About the writer:

Dr. Khawaja Shehryar Nasir is a diplomat of American board of Orofacial Pain. He is currently practicing as an Orofacial Pain and Headache Medicine Consultant in Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre. You can now book an appointment with him through oladoc.com for your Pain Management related needs.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Shahzad Anwar - Author Dr. Shahzad Anwar is an orthopedic surgeon and pain management specialist in Lahore. He has deep expertise and interest in Pain Management, Cancer Pain Management, Stem Cell Treatment, PRP Treatment, and Acupuncture.
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