Approximately 30 million americans suffer from migraine headaches of varying severity which can be a tremendous impact on peoples daily lives. In addition to the pain and suffering that patients experience, it often leads to decreased work productivity, lost days of work, expensive emergency room visits, disruption of social lives, and other strains on daily life. Migraine sufferers can have a multitude of triggers from foods, to stress, to change in sleep habits, hormonal changes, and many more. The unfortunate thing is that these can be unpredictable and strike at any time significantly impacting the things that a person who suffers from migraines can do.
There are many theories as to the cause of migraines such as changes in blood vessels and blood flow in the brain, muscle impingement on nerves in the head and neck, but no definitive etiology has been identified. The mainstay of treatment has been medical management either of the symptoms of migraine, or preventive medicines and conservative therapy to minimize triggers. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and physical therapy have also been utilized. In the past few years, it has been noticed that people receiving therapy that led to release of nerve impingement in the forehead, temple, and back of the neck has led to a decrease in the frequency and severity of migraines. This has led to development of procedures to release compression on the peripheral nerves (outside of the brain or spinal cord) using BOTOX® as well as traditional surgery, much like carpal tunnel release. In our practice, we have effectively used both modalities to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines and offered hope to those who suffer from migraines.
There are many causes of headaches, and not all headaches are migraines which is why we work closely with neurologists, pain specialists, and primary care physicians to arrive at the correct diagnosis and determine if someone is a candidate for surgical intervention. If you suffer from diagnosed migraines that impact your daily life and medication is not as effective as you would expect, know that there are options for treatment and our office is the only in the seacoast region and one of few in the country that offer this type of treatment.