Thursday, April 25, 2024

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Chronic Pain Handbook: Chronic Migraines/Headaches

If you don’t have migraines, chances are, you know someone who does. The blinding and debilitating pain can cause a quick exit from social settings and work environments so symptoms can pass for those inflicted. Migraines are an easier pain for the public to understand, since most have experienced a severe headache at some point in their life. Chronic migraines have a number of issues that come alongside them, but there are multiple ways to seek relief and help.

Chronic Headaches/Migraines

Migraines themselves are reported by 12% of the population according to the American Migraine Foundation. For migraines or headaches to be chronic, they must be recorded as occurring 15 times or more per month, which impacts at least 1% of the population. Even if someone isn’t experiencing migraines or large scale headaches for more days of the month than not, pain relief is often sought out so lives can carry on as closely to normal as possible. The Mayo Clinic describes a migraine as being a severe throbbing, often on one side of the head. It could be paired with nausea with or without vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and could last for hours or days. 


There are a number of possible different causes or triggers for migraines, especially ones that develop into chronic migraines. Some may notice hormonal fluctuations having an impact or changes in the weather. Stress, sleeplessness, and external stimuli may trigger a migraine response. There are certain foods, beverages, and additives many try to avoid, especially those high in caffeine or in chocolate products. There are some studies looking into possible genetic factors that come with an increased propensity for migraines and headaches.

Treatment Options

There are a number of non-medication techniques one can try. First, it is important to learn if there are any triggers, like the ones listed above, which may contribute to a migraine. If so, those factors should be eliminated or controlled as much as possible. By keeping a headache diary, you will be able to notice patterns and events that may impact your health more than you realize. Exercising, regular sleeping habits, and drinking plenty of fluids are important for everyone in the general population, but are even more important for those with migraines. The Mayo Clinic states, “Regular aerobic exercise reduces tension and can help prevent a migraine.” Relaxation techniques and meditation can help as well, especially in regard to learning biofeedback to help diffuse physical response to tension and stress in life.

Republic Can Help

Republic has a number of yoga and meditation instructors to work with that are highly recommended by our practice. Additionally, Republic offers referrals for nutrition and fitness assistance because a healthy lifestyle is crucial for managing the likelihood of getting migraines. For extra help, Republic can provide Botox as a way to treat chronic migraines, if the patient and medical providers feel that is the best avenue to pursue.

Living with migraines isn’t easy and Republic wants as many pain free patients as possible. To consult with one of our medical providers to see how we can help you, contact us today. We have numerous options to consider to help you gain precious time and energy in your life.





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