Understanding Your Treatment Options for Migraines
If you've ever had a migraine, you know firsthand how debilitating the symptoms can be. These unique headaches can last for hours or days and cause pain so severe it interferes with your daily life. What makes these symptoms even more problematic is that they can occur frequently, even several times a month.
Fortunately, even if you live with chronic migraines, the right treatment strategy can help reduce your symptoms and headache frequency. At Valley Neurology and Pain, our team starts by identifying the specific cause of your headache pain. Then, we design a treatment program based on your individual needs.
Many patients come to us and have tried medication management, but they still have migraines that don't allow them to perform their regular activities of daily living without significant interference from pain. There may be triggers that are causing the migraines, and many times those can be treated. We give you a thorough evaluation and perform testing, if necessary, to find out what could be triggering your migraines. Then we develop a treatment plan to target your triggers. Some of your treatment options could involve the following:
Facet joint injections
This preventive therapy works to reduce migraines by injecting anti-inflammatory medication directly into the facet joints of your cervical spine. We could recommend this treatment if you also have pain in your neck, upper back, or shoulder, which can indicate facet joint inflammation.
Epidural injections rely on corticosteroid medications delivered directly into the outer space of your spinal canal. This targeted approach reduces nerve inflammation and relieves pain, resulting in less pain and reduced migraine symptoms.
There are different nerve blocks, including occipital nerve blocks. Like an epidural injection, they focus on relieving nerve inflammation. However, we deliver these injections directly to the problematic nerve root where it exits the spinal column, not inside the epidural space.
Trigger point injections
If you struggle with migraines, the cause could be due to irritated "trigger points" in the muscles of your head, neck, or shoulders. This treatment focuses on injecting those areas with anesthetic medication.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
During this treatment, we use heat to destroy specific nerve endings, which stops them from sending pain signals.
Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA)
This noninvasive procedure can help restore your range of motion and relieve chronic pain by using deep tissue pressure, traction, and muscle stripping to break up fibrous adhesion and scar tissue. What sets MUA apart from other forms of massage and bodywork is that it involves mild sedation. By adding sedation, we can provide deeper levels of penetration than you could tolerate while awake.
In addition to medical therapies for chronic migraines, lifestyle changes can play a significant role in headache prevention. They could include:
- Keeping a headache diary
- Staying hydrated, especially with water
- Establishing a sleep schedule
- Consuming a healthy diet
- Eating at the same time each day
- Learning relaxation techniques
- Adding an exercise program
Taking these steps can provide insights into your migraine triggers to help you better manage and prevent your symptoms.
At Valley Neurology and Pain, with three convenient Arizona locations in Phoenix and Peoria, you are never a number. Your consultation, examination, and treatment are always administered by a highly qualified physician. If you have migraines, we have experienced physicians who can help you, including Toure Knighton, MD, Jin Yuk, MD, and Patricia Henthorn, DC, DAAMUAP. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.