Many American adults suffer from the incapacitating effects of migraine headaches. These severe headaches can last for hours or even days and may include symptoms such as severe throbbing pain around the head, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sensitivity to light and sound and visual disturbances. Some people experience warning signs of an impending migraine, such as visual auras, flashes of light or tingling of the arms or legs. For others, migraines come on suddenly and without any indications. In some people, migraines occur on a regular or even predictable basis, such as at certain times of the menstrual cycle. Some migraine sufferers may experience as many as one to three migraine headaches a month, while others experience these debilitating headaches once a year or less often.
SELF-CARE FOR MIGRAINE HEADACHE RELIEF
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from migraines, you’ve likely sought different methods of migraine headache reliefs on your own and with your doctor. You may have started with self-care measures such as progressive muscle relaxation, yoga or meditation. You may have modified your sleeping environment and stuck to a regular sleep schedule to ensure adequate and high-quality rest. Unfortunately, many migraine headache patients find that these measures are inadequate to address their pain and other migraine symptoms.
USING MIGRAINE HEADACHE MEDICATIONS
After trying self-care measures, perhaps you tried a migraine headache medication to alleviate your pain. Some people try herbs and supplements such as vitamin B-2, feverfew or butterbur to reduce the severity and duration of their headaches, although scientific studies show mixed or poor results for these alternative treatments. Magnesium and coenzyme Q-10 supplements have also been tried by people with migraines, though few benefits were found from these options. Over the counter pain relievers containing aspirin, acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may temporarily help the pain associated with mild migraines. Combination over the counter medications containing acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine may also provide temporary relief of migraines in some people, but this combination is not effective for moderate to severe migraines. Prescription headache medicines containing drugs in a class called triptans may be prescribed by your doctor if you have severe migraines. However, some people cannot tolerate the side effects of triptan medications or they have a medical condition that contraindicates the use of triptans. Other prescription medications that your doctor might try to relieve your migraine pain include ergots, anti-nausea medications, opioids, glucocorticoids, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, anti-depressants, anti-seizure drugs and Botox. These drugs all cause side effects that in some people could be worse than the migraine itself.
MIGRAINE HEADACHE SURGERY
When you’ve tried a wide variety of medications and other forms of relief from the pain caused by migraines, you might wonder if there is anything out there that can effectively help. Fortunately, there is another option. Surgery for migraines is a novel intervention that strives to reduce the pain, frequency and duration of these headaches. Dr. Brooks is a leading authority on surgical interventions for migraines. Surgery for migraines involves identification of trigger points around the forehead and face. Each trigger point is decompressed in a surgical process that takes us about 45 to 60 minutes for each location. We use general anesthesia and aim to provide as painless a procedure as possible. In studies of patients who underwent migraine intervention surgery, between 80% and 92% of them reported a minimum 50% reduction in the number of their migraines and almost 33% noted a complete elimination of the headaches.
IS SURGERY FOR MIGRAINES A GOOD OPTION FOR YOU?
If medications and other forms of relief don’t work well for you or you can’t use them due to another medical condition, you may be a candidate for migraine surgery performed by our dedicated staff. You’ll meet with Dr. Brooks and discuss your symptoms and what methods you’ve already tried. If we determine that you’re a candidate for surgery, we’ll provide you with preoperative instructions to prepare you for the procedure. The outpatient procedure requires one to two weeks of recovery time. We’ll endeavor to prevent any uncomfortable side effects from the anesthesia, procedure and aftercare. Our goal is to prevent future migraines, so you can live a healthier life.
You don’t have to keep suffering from migraines that interfere with your personal and professional life. At the office of Dr. Brooks, we’re here to provide you with the personalized and attentive care you deserve. Let us help you find relief from your migraines.