How Are Migraine Headaches Treated?
Migraine headache pain can be severe. It is sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to odors, light and sound. If untreated, migraine symptoms can be so severe that they take people out of commission for several hours, or even several days. Although there is no cure for migraines, Greater Austin Pain Center recognizes several effective treatments including medications to relieve symptoms, medications to prevent episodes, and lifestyle changes that can lead greater management of pain.
Researchers suspect that migraines may be caused by impulses in the trigeminal nerve that send out signals about pain, all while releasing neuropeptides. During a migraine episode, arteries that send blood to the head also dilate, contributing to the pain.
The precise cause of migraine headaches is unknown. Researchers suspect it has something to do with trigeminal nerve function and neurochemical fluctuations.
- Moderate to severe pain on one or both sides of the head
- Hypersensitivity to light, sound, and odors
- Aura: Seeing flashes of light/blurs/zigzag lines, feeling numbness or tingling in limbs, sudden weakness, slurred speech
- Review of medical history
- Imaging studies (CT scan, MRI)
- Occipital nerve blocks
- Trigger point injections
- Botox injections
Migraine Treatment in Austin, Kyle, Dripping Springs
Greater Austin Pain Center will seek to accurately diagnose migraine headaches by reviewing your medical history and symptoms. It is important to rule out more serious conditions, so you may be subject to imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs, and you may be asked to keep a record of your headaches for your doctor to review.
There are a variety of medications to help relieve the symptoms of migraines. Migraines can be treated with over-the-counter medications, and your doctor may prescribe preventative medications as well. Recent research also indicates that BOTOX® injections, acupuncture, biofeedback and behavior therapy can be used to help prevent migraines from occurring.
Along with taking medication, you may be encouraged to undertake some preventative lifestyle changes, such as:
- Avoiding the triggers that cause your migraines, such as alcohol or specific foods
- Performing regular aerobic exercise
- Seeking possible alternatives if you are currently on estrogen medication
- Establishing regular sleep patterns
- Practicing relaxation techniques
Imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs can help rule out more serious conditions.
Am I At Risk?
Common triggering factors for migraines include:
- Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, menopause, menstruation, or hormonal medication
- Skipping meals
- Eating foods that have been aged, fermented, pickled, or marinated
- Drinking alcohol
- Bright lights
- Certain smells
- Changing your sleep patterns
- Intense physical activity, e.g. exercise or sexual activity
- Certain medications
- Changes in weather, seasons, atmospheric pressure, or altitude
If you find that your headaches are brought on by any of these factors, contact Greater Austin Pain Center today. While migraines are still something of a medical mystery, we can still provide the knowledge and care to help you manage them.