Top 5 Treatments for Migraines
Because of the life-changing impact of migraine headaches, most sufferers are interested in all available treatment options. Depending on the person, migraine patients will usually try more than one treatment and are typically on a combination of treatments that works for them.
Migraine surgery expert, Dr. Jonathan Cabin’s first recommendation to finding the best treatment plan for your migraines is to make sure you’re in fact suffering from migraines. If you have not yet been diagnosed, you should make an appointment to see a neurologist, who is really an expert in migraine diagnosis. Because migraines can often be confused with other types of headaches, it is important for a neurologist to perform an evaluation before you can be properly diagnosed.
If you are, indeed, a sufferer of migraines, there are five general categories of treatment:
- Lifestyle – for most sufferers, lifestyle changes will be a part of your overall care for migraines. This includes alterations in sleep, diet, and exercise. For a small number of patients, this may be sufficient treatment, but most will require other treatments to compliment necessary lifestyle alterations.
- Alternative therapies – some patients will find that alternative and complimentary treatments are effective. These treatments include acupuncture, herbal medications, biofeedback, and massage therapy.
- Medication – most patients with migraines will require at least some medication. There are generally two categories of medication: prophylactic and rescue. Prophylactic medication is taken regularly to prevent migraines, whereas rescue medication is taken when a migraine feels imminent or is active.
- Botox® – Botox® treatment is very effective for patients who have certain migraine “triggers” from specific areas around their head. Botox® must be administered by an experienced physician, like Dr. Cabin, and should be obtained every 2-3 months for maximum effect.
- Surgery– for some patients who respond well to Botox® or certain nasal medication, surgery is an excellent option. Surgery can result in permanent relief or reduction of frequency, duration or intensity of migraines.
Once you have a migraine diagnosis, you can proceed to find the right treatment combination that works for you.
How Can I Diagnose My Migraine for the Best Treatment Option?
For those who believe they are experiencing migraines, consulting with a doctor is crucial. That way, a doctor can evaluate a patient and provide him or her with a proper migraine diagnosis.
There is no one-size-fits-all test used to diagnose migraines. Instead, a doctor examines a patient’s medical history and migraine symptoms. A doctor also performs a neurological assessment and may request a patient keep a diary to track his or her migraines.
Treating Migraines with Natural Remedies
Natural remedies sometimes stop migraine attacks and limit the impact of migraine symptoms. Common natural remedies for migraines include:
- Butterbur: One study indicated that taking butterbur extract by mouth helped some migraine patients reduce the frequency of their migraine attacks by approximately 50%.
- Fish Oil: Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that may help prevent or reduce the severity of migraine attacks.
- Ginger Root: Ginger contains more than 200 substances that have anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea and antihistamine properties to help users address their migraine symptoms.
- Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil has a cooling effect on the skin, and as such, may help relieve migraine pain in the temples and forehead.
- Valerian: This herb has relaxing effects, and some users believe it can help alleviate migraine symptoms.
There is no shortage of natural migraine remedies, yet these treatments offer no guarantees. Some natural migraine remedies also cause unwanted side effects.
Ultimately, it is important to consult with a doctor before taking natural migraine remedies. A doctor can perform a migraine evaluation, provide a migraine diagnosis and help a patient develop a safe, effective migraine treatment program. Plus, a doctor will monitor a patient’s progress to ensure he or she can enjoy long-lasting migraine pain relief.
Choosing Migraine Surgery to Treat Your Migraines
Migraine surgery is an outpatient procedure that usually requires one to two hours to complete. It is administered under local or general anesthesia and often helps patients reduce the severity, intensity and duration of migraines.
To qualify for migraine surgery, a patient must receive a chronic migraine diagnosis from a neurologist and find that his or her current medications are ineffective or cause intolerable side effects. Also, if a patient has a favorable response to Botox or other local anesthetic injections, he or she may prove to be an ideal candidate for migraine surgery.
The side effects of migraine surgery are minimal. Slight bruising and swelling may occur near the treatment site, but these issues generally disappear within about two weeks of surgery. Meanwhile, patients sometimes experience bleeding, nerve issues or wound healing problems after migraine surgery. A doctor may ask a patient to avoid strenuous exercise for up to three weeks following migraine surgery, too.
A doctor teaches a patient about the side effects associated with migraine surgery prior to treatment and responds to his or her surgery concerns and questions. By doing so, a doctor helps a patient determine if migraine surgery is the best option to alleviate his or her migraine symptoms.
Let The Migraine Institute Help You Find Relief
Committed to helping patients find relief, The Migraine Institute is the first center in Los Angeles solely dedicated to alleviating pain from the dreaded migraine. Our team of migraine specialists are pioneers in the field of migraine surgery, and are highly respected by surgeons from around the world. From the first moment you step into The Migraine Institute, our top priority is to take care of you so you can start enjoying life again!
Contact us today to schedule your migraine treatment consultation – 310.461.0303!