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Why do people have headaches?
Correct diagnosis is your key to success
There are many reasons people have headaches. The most common headaches are benign and not life-threatening. However, sometimes headaches could be a sign of a severe disease that could put your well-being, your eyesight, or even your life in danger.
For example, some migraine headaches may predispose you to a stroke; some headaches may be a sign of glaucoma, which causes progressive loss of vision; and sometimes headaches are the first sign of a growing brain tumor.
Now, when you know all this, would you still continue taking over-the-counter medications for recurrent or severe headaches, and postpone your visit to a doctor? We sincerely hope that you would not.
Types of Headaches
Interestingly, the brain itself does not feel pain. At the time when brain surgery was done under local anesthesia, the surgeon would inject a local anesthetic into the skull structures, but not into the brain itself. Cutting the brain with a knife is painless!
However, many anatomical structures around the brain do feel pain. These include the nerve ganglions inside and outside the brain, the membranes covering the brain, the muscles around the skull, the arteries and veins inside and around the skull, paranasal sinuses, the eyes, the small joints called “temporomandibular joints”, numerous neck structures -- to name just a few. Any of these structures may be involved in a disease process, and cause headaches.
The ultimate success of your treatment, and often your health and your life depend on the correct diagnosis of your headache. Because so many structures may cause headaches, your doctor must take into consideration the possibility of a disease in any of these structures, and make a differential diagnosis of your particular headache.
The description of the headache that you provide to the doctor is critical for the diagnostic workup. You may expect your doctor to ask you many questions in order to fully characterize your headache. Sometimes the diagnosis becomes evident based on your complete description of the pain. Very often, however, your doctor may want to utilize special studies to rule out some life-threatening diseases. These special studies may be as simple as an X-ray study of your sinuses or a blood test, or as complex as an MRI study of the brain with contrast, or an electroencephalogram (EEG). Measurements of the intraocular pressure are especially critical in elderly people, and in those with a family history of glaucoma.
How do we treat migraine headaches?
Innovative treatments that can make a difference.
Based on your established diagnosis, a treatment plan will be developed and discussed with you. As with any treatment plan, alternative options will be discussed together with their advantages and disadvantages.
We always emphasize and recommend:
- Individualized approach;
- Preventive treatment;
- Initial lowest risk treatment, usually noninvasive, if possible;
Based on the statistical prevalence of different types of headaches, the most common types of treatment for headaches may include lifestyle modification, dietary interventions, vitamins and supplements, physical therapy, acupuncture, various prescription medications, and sometimes injections of anesthetics and anti-inflammatory medications.
What lifestyle changes can help?
Migraine headaches patients are often very sensitive to some physical and emotional events — like stress, noise, certain foods and weather changes. Learning to identify the circumstances that can set off an attack is important in migraine management.
Migraine attacks may be triggered by:
- Smoking or exposure to smoke;
- Exercise or physical stress;
- Changes in sleep patterns - i.e., waking up later than usual;
- Missed meals;
- Changes in hormone levels during a woman''s menstrual cycle;
- Use of birth control pills;
- Certain foods, including aged cheeses, red wine, ice cream, processed, fermented, pickled, or marinated foods, bacon, hot dogs, salami, cured meats, chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, some dairy products, smoked fish, liver, figs, some beans, avocado, banana, oranges, onions, garlic, monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates, other spices and additives, as well as food colorings. (Find out about Food Intolerance & Chemical Sensitivity Test - ALCAT).
This is a partial list; however, not every migraine patient is sensitive to all of these products.
What are some treatment options?
Preventive migraine management can reduce the frequency, severity and length of migraine attacks, and may improve the effectiveness of symptom-relieving medicines used during migraine attacks.
Acute migraine attack may be treated with oxygen inhalations, and sometimes with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. We do not recommend using commonly prescribed class of medications called “triptans”, due to some serious side effects of these drugs. Likewise, we do not recommend use of any narcotic medications for recurrent headaches.
Acute and Preventive treatment.
Some anesthetic procedures, like sphenopalatine ganglion block, may offer both immediate and long-term benefits to headache sufferers.
Depending on your headache diagnosis and associated conditions that may be causing or aggravating your headaches, we may offer a choice of other injection procedures, like epidural injections, peripheral nerve blocks, or trigger points injections, and combine those with the most effective and safe medications indicated for your conditions.
Remember – most headaches can be treated or prevented.
MiRx Protocol: New FDA Cleared Solution to Chronic Migraines
Chronic Migraines? There Is a Revolutionary New Way to Take Back Your Life
Migraines reduce quality of life and overall health. A person’s daily functioning decreases, and the possibility of regaining their old life seems bleaker by the day. The financial burden of relieving those who suffer from migraines makes a bad situation worse.
But there is a revolutionary new device to help patients overcome their migraine woes.
Wellness Plus Clinic proudly unveils the Tx360 and the MiRx Protocol, a nasal applicator that works to treat the following conditions:
- Atypical Face Discomfort
- Trigeminal Neuralgia
- Cluster Headaches
- Tension Headaches
- Migraine Headaches with or without AURA
And this device fits into a larger program to treat migraines: the MiRx Protocol.
What Is the MiRx Protocol?
The MiRx Protocol is a migraine and headache treatment program that can stop migraine pain quickly with long lasting results.
The fight to treat migraines has two fronts: the triggers and the nervous systems response. The Tx360 addresses the nervous systems response by targeting the sphenopalatine ganglion nerve cluster that produces the pain response. Physical therapy supplements the medicinal efforts by conditioning the physical response to migraine triggers. By reducing the migraine pain with the nerve block patients will be able to control the onset of a migraine and experience a 90% reduction in migraine attacks.
For More Information Contact Us at Wellness Plus Clinic.
Trust your care to one of the very best.
Wellness Plus Clinic specialises in helping you manage headache and migraine pain. Our goal is to design the most effective and the least risky treatment plan, and avoid unnecessary surgery. We take comprehensive approach to medicine that utilizes both western and eastern techniques to effectively relieve discomfort and restore the body to full function. Individual approach utilizes combination of diagnostic tests, lifestyle modifications, preventive medicine, physical therapy, therapeutic nerve blocks, acupuncture, and more.
What makes our pain physician team different?
- We take our time to make an accurate diagnosis of your pain, and to uncover medical problems that may have been previously missed by other physicians;
- We use a multidisciplinary approach and input from other specialists during the diagnostic phase, as well as the treatment;
- We prioritize treatment options based on their safety first, their potential benefit, as well as your personal preferences. We never recommend inappropriate procedures or those that you don’t need based upon your medical insurance fee schedule.
What is migraine?
Understanding is the first step to feeling better.
Migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent moderate to severe headaches often in association with a number of symptoms. Migraines are a significant source of both medical costs and lost productivity. Negative impacts also frequently occur for a person''s family.
What causes migraine?
The underlying cause of migraines is unknown. However, they are believed to be related to a mix of environmental and genetic factors. They run in families in about two-thirds of cases and rarely occur due to a single gene defect. A number of psychological conditions are associated including: depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder as are many biological events or triggers.
What are the symptoms of migraine?
Some symptoms of migraine are more common including sensitivity to light and sound, inability to engage in normal activities, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and aura (visual disturbances).
There are four possible phases to a migraine, although not all the phases are necessarily experienced:
- The prodrome, which occurs hours or days before the headache.
- The aura, which immediately precedes the headache.
- The pain phase, also known as headache phase.
- The postdrome, the effects experienced following the end of a migraine attack.
About 15-30% of people with migraines experience migraines with an aura and those who have migraines with aura also frequently have migraines without aura. The severity of the pain, duration of the headache, and frequency of attacks is variable.
How is migraine diagnosed?
The diagnosis of a migraine is based on signs and symptoms. It is believed that a substantial number of people with the condition have not been diagnosed.
- Five or more attacks — for migraine with aura, two attacks are sufficient for diagnosis.
- Four hours to three days in duration
- Two or more of the following:
- Unilateral (affecting half the head)
- Moderate or severe pain intensity
- Aggravation by or causing avoidance of routine physical activity
- One or more of the following:
- Nausea and/or vomiting;
- Sensitivity to both light and sound.
If someone experiences two of the following: photophobia, nausea, or inability to work / study for a day the diagnosis is more likely. In those with four out of five of the following: pulsating headache, duration of 4–72 hours, pain on one side of the head, nausea, or symptoms that interfere with the person''s life, the probability that this is a migraine is 92%.In those with less than three of these symptoms the probability is 17%.