5 Pain Relief Treatments Every Migraine Sufferer Should Know About

Chronic migraine headaches can cripple your lifestyle with pain, nausea, vomiting, and other debilitating symptoms. While researchers are still at a loss to adequately explain the origin of migraines, pain specialists have developed a number of new therapies that subdue migraine symptoms. The migraine specialists at Northwest Suburban Pain Center share five of their most effective, in-office migraine treatments.

1. Occipital nerve block

Pain from headaches that originate in the occipital nerves at the back of your head may radiate to the top of your head, temples, forehead, or eyes. The pain is caused by inflammation or irritation of the occipital nerves and can be controlled by an occipital nerve block.

Your Northwest Suburban Pain Center specialist injects a special solution containing steroids and an anesthetic directly into the occipital nerves to subdue inflammation. You may feel some minor discomfort while the solution infuses your tissues.

You’ll notice a reduction in headache pain in as little as 15 minutes. Relief can last from a day or two to several months.

2. Botox®

While you may have heard about Botox as a wrinkle treatment, the FDA recently approved this effective neuromodulator as a means of preventing and controlling chronic migraines, too.   

Botox works by blocking pain signals from nerve endings that contribute to your headaches. Without pain signals traveling to your brain, you stay pain-free.

You may need 2-3 Botox treatments before you start to notice a reduction in the number of headaches and the severity of your pain. The experts at Northwest Suburban Pain Center find that most men and women over the age of 18 get relief for up to 12 weeks, and have about 50% less pain.

3. Sphenopalatine block

Some migraine headaches originate in or involve the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG), which is a group of nerves behind your nose. To block pain signals from the SPG, your Northwest Suburban Pain Center specialist uses a tiny catheter to deliver an anesthetic to the interior of your nose.

While you lie comfortably on your back, your pain specialist inserts a catheter in one of your nostrils. Once the catheter has been correctly positioned, they inject numbing medication to block the SPG. Your specialist removes the catheter and repeats the process in your other nostril.

You should start to feel a reduction in headache pain within minutes to hours. You can get an SPG block whenever you need one to control your pain. Most men and women can get about six months of pain relief with treatments twice a week for up to six weeks.

4. Trigger point injections

The term “trigger point” refers to knotted or tight areas in your muscles that cause pain. The pain can radiate from the trigger point to other areas. For instance, you could have a trigger point from tension in your shoulder, but feel the pain in your head.

Your pain specialist at Northwest Suburban Pain Center relaxes trigger points with an anesthetic that’s injected directly into the tight knot in your muscle. The anesthetic dulls sensation of the muscle nerves, which reduces the number of pain signals sent to your brain.

Most men and women experience immediate pain relief after a trigger-point injection. You may continue to feel relief for up to several weeks.

5. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

To control acute pain, your doctor may recommend a prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) called Cambia® that’s FDA-approved to treat migraines. Unlike over-the-counter NSAID pills or tablets, Cambia comes as a flavored powder that’s mixed with water. Your pain should be reduced within about 15 minutes.

Migraine headaches can be complex and highly individual. In addition to providing pain relief with minimally invasive, in-office treatments that have no downtime, your Northwest Suburban Pain Center professionals help you identify your migraine triggers. They also make lifestyle recommendations that can reduce your risk of a migraine attack.

To get started on long-term migraine management, contact the migraine specialists at Northwest Suburban Pain Center. Reach them by phone or online booking form.  

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