All migraines are headaches, but not all headaches are migraines. Fortunately, migraine and headache symptoms differ. If you can identify the symptoms associated with migraines and headaches, you can determine if your headache might be a migraine.
Now, let’s look at 10 common migraine symptoms, along with some of the ways to treat migraines and headaches.
1. Pain on One Side of the Head
A migraine attack often causes throbbing pain on one side of the head. Comparatively, a tension headache may result in throbbing pain on both sides of the head; a tension headache may also cause pain around the eyes, cheeks and forehead.
2. Visual Phenomena
During a migraine attack, you may experience flashes of light, different shapes and other visual phenomena. A migraine attack may make you more sensitive to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia), too.
Research indicates the gut may slow down due to a migraine. If this occurs, you may start to feel nauseous. You may also experience dizziness and feel the urge to vomit.
4. Neck Stiffness
A migraine may affect the trigeminal nerve, i.e. a cranial nerve that is responsible for chewing, biting and other motor functions in the face. If the trigeminal nerve is activated during a migraine attack, the nerve may send pain signals from the spinal cord to the brain. In this instance, your neck may start to feel stiff.
5. Heightened Sense of Smell
Research shows specific scent and pain receptors in the brain may be activated during a migraine attack. This may result in a heightened sense of smell, as well as increased sensitivity to strong smells and odors.
A migraine sometimes results in sensory aura, leading to weakness, numbness or tingling on one side of the body. It may also cause you to experience speech aura, which may cause slurred or garbled speech.
7. Unusual Food Cravings
Sudden urges for chocolate, cheese and other unusual foods may occur during the prodrome stage of a migraine attack; this phase generally marks the beginning of a migraine. Meanwhile, once you start to experience head pain, your food cravings likely will disappear.
Migraine and depression symptoms often appear similar, and they are sometimes related to one another. The American Migraine Foundation (AMF) notes migraine patients are two to five times more likely than others to experience anxiety, agitation and other depression symptoms. Additionally, AMF points out approximately 25% of migraine patients experience depression, and 50% have anxiety.
Research has linked irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a large intestine condition frequently associated with constipation and other gastrointestinal issues, to migraines. A migraine attack sometimes alters the brain’s production of serotonin, a chemical that narrows blood vessels. Meanwhile, the intestines may become flooded with serotonin during constipation.
A migraine may last anywhere from a few hours to several days, and as such, a migraine takes a toll on the body. If you experience a wide range of migraine symptoms, you may feel physically and mentally exhausted. Once a migraine attack ends, you may feel extreme fatigue as well.
How to Treat Headaches and Migraines
Migraines are common problems for millions of people worldwide. Yet without a proper diagnosis, migraines may go untreated. In this scenario, you may experience migraine attacks that make it tough to work, go to school or perform various everyday tasks.
For those who experience headaches three or more days per week, consulting with a doctor is key. A doctor can then perform a patient evaluation, as well as offer a personalized headache treatment plan.
Sometimes, doctors recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medications to alleviate headache pain. These medications may provide instant headache pain relief, but they offer no guarantees. In fact, OTC medications may fail to deliver the desired results or cause nausea, vomiting and other unwanted side effects.
If headache pain lingers after an initial treatment, a doctor may provide a migraine diagnosis. The doctor may then prescribe different migraine medications or offer alternative treatments.
Of course, chronic migraines may be problematic, too. If you experience 15 or more headache days per month, you may be dealing with chronic migraines.
A neurologist can provide a chronic migraine diagnosis, as well as prescribe chronic migraine medications. However, if chronic migraine medications are ineffective or cause intolerable side effects, Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute can help.
Dr. Cabin is board-certified in head and neck surgery and has dual-subspecialty training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Cabin’s unique expertise enables him to identify a patient’s anatomical migraine triggers. Then, Dr. Cabin develops a custom treatment plan to help each of his patients achieve long-lasting migraine pain relief.
There is no need to let chronic migraine symptoms persist. Instead, chronic migraine patients searching for alternatives to migraine medications can meet with Dr. Cabin to find a safe, effective and personalized long-term migraine treatment.
Dr. Cabin is available to meet with chronic migraine patients who are struggling to relieve their symptoms. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Cabin, please call us today at 310.461.0303.
Migraines affect more than 37 million people globally. They cause physical symptoms like nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sensitivity to sound (phonophobia). In some instances, migraine symptoms escalate over time, resulting in chronic migraine pain.
Migraines are problematic, but they are treatable. However, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment to address all migraines, at all times. To determine the best course of action to relieve migraine pain, an individual must consider all of the treatment options at his or her disposal.
In this white paper, we’ll examine migraine treatments, how they work and their benefits. We’ll also explain how Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute uses personalized treatments to help chronic migraine patients achieve long-lasting pain relief.
Migraine Medications: What Are They, and Are They Effective?
Migraine medications are commonly used to manage migraine pain. They are available across three categories:
Preventative migraine medications help stop migraines before they start. Common preventative migraine medications include:
Anticonvulsants: Reduce or prevent seizures; doctors sometimes prescribe the anticonvulsants topiramate or valproic acid to treat migraines.
Antidepressants: Help lower the frequency and severity of migraines; research indicates the antidepressants duloxetine and venlafaxine help prevent migraines.
Beta-Blockers: Help relax blood vessels sometimes associated with migraine attacks; metoprolol and propranolol are among the most common beta-blockers prescribed to treat migraines.
Calcium-Channel Blockers: Slow the narrowing of the blood vessels that sometimes causes migraine pain; calcium-channel blockers used to treat migraines include diltiazem and verapamil.
Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) Inhibitors: Block the effects of CGRP, a molecule that has been linked to migraine pain. To date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved CGRP inhibitors erenumab and fremanezumab as preventative migraine medications.
Preventative migraine medications help reduce migraine frequency, duration and intensity, and they often require a prescription. If a person experiences chronic migraines, a preventative medication may be used to treat his or her migraine symptoms.
Abortive migraine medications may be taken during the early stages of a migraine to prevent a migraine attack from getting out of hand. If a person feels physical migraine symptoms that he or she believes may result in a full-blown migraine, this individual can use an abortive medication to address the migraine attack.
Oftentimes, abortive migraine medications are taken via skin patch, nasal spray or self-injection. Some abortive migraine medications are also available in pill form.
Triptans are among the most common abortive migraine medications. They help block migraine pain and may be taken within about two hours of a migraine’s onset.
Common triptans used to treat migraine pain include:
Triptans impact the nerves and blood vessels, and they are not recommended for individuals dealing with high blood pressure or heart disease. Additionally, triptans are not recommended for a migraine patient who previously experienced a stroke or is currently pregnant.
Rescue migraine medications can be taken at any point during a migraine attack to reduce migraine symptoms. They are often available over the counter and include:
The overall effectiveness of rescue migraine medications varies based on the individual and the severity of his or her migraine pain. In certain instances, rescue migraine medications cause nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and other side effects as well.
There is no guarantee that preventative, abortive or rescue medications will help a migraine sufferer achieve his or her desired results. Ultimately, it is important to consult with a primary care doctor to determine if medication is a viable option to treat migraine pain. Or, if migraine symptoms continue for an extended period of time, an individual may require a consultation with a neurologist. At this time, a neurologist may provide a chronic migraine diagnosis, as well as prescribe a migraine medication or alternative migraine treatments.
Alternative Migraine Remedies: Do They Really Work?
There is no shortage of alternative remedies used to treat migraines. These remedies include:
Acupressure involves the use of pressure to different parts of the body to relieve muscle tension and pain. One study of 40 people dealing with migraines without aura revealed acupressure helped relieve nausea and vomiting associated with their migraine attacks.
Magnesium supplementation helps migraine sufferers address migraine attacks that occur due to a lack of magnesium in the body. Magnesium has been shown to help regulate nerve and muscle function and enhance heart health, as well as treat nausea, vomiting and other migraine symptoms.
3. Dietary Changes
Certain foods and beverages sometimes trigger migraine attacks. These foods and beverages include:
With dietary changes, a migraine sufferer can limit his or her intake of foods and beverages that cause migraine symptoms. Also, doctors sometimes recommend migraine sufferers keep a journal so they can track foods and beverages that may trigger migraine attacks.
4. Essential Oils
Lavender and other essential oils often help people alleviate stress, anxiety and headaches. In one study of migraine patients, researchers found the inhalation of lavender oil helped reduce the severity of participants’ migraines.
Ginger is a natural remedy used to treat nausea and vomiting. A study of 100 migraine patients showed participants who took ginger to alleviate migraine pain achieved similar results to participants who consumed sumatriptan, a drug commonly prescribed to address migraine attacks.
Yoga helps enhance blood flow and limit muscle tension. A 2014 study revealed migraine patients who participated in yoga sessions achieved greater migraine pain relief than patients who relied exclusively on traditional migraine treatments.
7. Cold or Warm Compress
Using a cold or warm compress on the head sometimes helps reduce migraine pain. Choosing between a cold or warm compress depends on the individual; in certain instances, a cold compress works better than a hot compress, or vice-versa.
8. Herbal Supplements
Herbal supplements like butterbur and feverfew have been shown to help reduce migraine frequency and pain, but there may be risks associated with these supplements. As such, migraine sufferers should consult with a doctor before using herbal supplements.
Insufficient rest is a leading cause of migraines. Conversely, migraine sufferers who create comfortable, distraction-free sleep environments may be better equipped than ever before to get adequate rest. They should also strive to get between seven to nine hours of sleep per night to lower the risk of migraine attacks.
Dehydration increases the risk of a migraine attack. If a migraine sufferer consumes a sufficient amount of water daily, he or she can avoid dehydration. In fact, a good rule of thumb for migraine sufferers is to consume at least eight, 8-oz. glasses of water every day.
Alternative migraine remedies should only be used after consulting with a doctor. Following a medical consultation, one or more of the aforementioned alternative migraine remedies may be used to help a migraine sufferer relieve his or her migraine pain.
How Is Botox Used to Treat Migraines?
Botox, a neurotoxin that comes from Clostridium botulinum bacteria, is a popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment used to address visible signs of aging in the face. It also helps chronic migraine sufferers treat their migraine symptoms.
Botox paralyzes muscles that cause abnormal muscle contraction – something that may result in migraine pain. During a Botox for migraine treatment, Botox is injected into different areas of a patient’s skin.
Botox may be injected into one or more of the following migraine anatomical trigger points:
Forehead: Botox is injected into the area between the eyebrows and above the forehead.
Temples: Botox is injected directly into a patient’s temple.
Neck: Botox is injected into different portions of the back of the neck.
Botox provides temporary migraine pain relief, and chronic migraine patients may receive Botox treatments every two to four months. Various tests are also performed to determine if a chronic migraine patient is a good candidate for Botox injections.
Is Migraine Surgery Necessary?
Migraine surgery is a permanent solution for migraine pain. It is minimally invasive, and in most cases, helps stop migraines.
Migraine surgery is a complex procedure, and it treats migraine trigger points in the face, scalp or neck. Prior to surgery, a chronic migraine patient undergoes various tests to determine his or her eligibility; these evaluations may include a doppler test and nerve block injections. Migraine surgery is only performed if it is determined to be a safe, effective option for a chronic migraine patient.
Migraine surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, and patients can return home the same day as treatment. It is often completed under general anesthesia and takes anywhere from one to five hours to finish.
Each migraine surgery plan is customized to a chronic migraine patient, and it may be used to address one or more anatomical migraine trigger points. Most patients who undergo Botox treatments are viable candidates for migraine surgery, too.
Scarring is typically minimally following migraine surgery. In the first few days after migraine surgery, a patient may need to care for his or her stitches. Surgical drains may be required as well.
The average recovery period following migraine surgery lasts about one to two weeks. At this point, a patient experiences bruising or swelling that disappears on its own. Antibiotics may be provided to a patient for use during the initial week after surgery. In some cases, a patient may also be prescribed pain medication.
The full results of migraine surgery may become visible within about two to four weeks of treatment. Thus far, more than 90% of migraine surgery patients have reported a significant reduction in the duration, frequency or intensity of migraines. Meanwhile, nearly 50% are migraine-free within a few months following surgery.
Which Migraine Treatment Is Right for You?
Every migraine is different, and the best treatment for migraines varies from person to person. To figure out the best way to treat a migraine, it is essential to consult with a primary care doctor.
Initially, a primary care doctor will review a patient’s medical history and perform an evaluation. He or she may then prescribe migraine medications to treat this individual’s migraine symptoms.
If a person experiences headaches on more than 15 days per month, this individual may be dealing with chronic migraine pain. To obtain a chronic migraine diagnosis, an individual should consult with a neurologist. Like a primary care doctor, a neurologist will examine a patient and may recommend migraine medications.
Of course, a chronic migraine patient who constantly experiences migraines – despite the fact that he or she is currently using different migraine medications – may require additional help. In this scenario, Dr. Cabin can provide immediate assistance.
Dr. Cabin is a board-certified head and neck surgeon with dual-subspecialty training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Cabin’s unique expertise allows him to develop custom treatments for chronic migraine patients. That way, Dr. Cabin ensures each of his chronic migraine patients can permanently address their migraine symptoms.
Migraine treatments – and the results they provide – vary. Regardless of how long a person has been dealing with migraines or the severity of his or her migraine pain, it is crucial to do everything possible to address this individual’s migraine symptoms.
There is no need to let migraine pain linger. At the first sign of migraine pain, an individual should seek out his or her primary care doctor. If migraine pain persists, this individual should then meet with a neurologist. And if migraine pain still lingers at this time, setting up a migraine treatment consultation with Dr. Cabin is ideal.
Botox is quickly becoming a popular chronic migraine treatment – and perhaps it is easy to understand why. A Botox treatment often helps reduce chronic migraine pain without surgery. Plus, Botox for migraines has been shown to help patients stop chronic migraine headaches.
How Does Botox for Migraines Work?
Botox for migraines involves the use of a neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum bacteria. It is injected into the skin to temporarily stop nerve cell signals from reaching the muscles.
Botox paralyzes muscles that otherwise contribute to abnormal muscle contractions that cause migraine pain. It is injected in small doses into the muscles and usually delivers migraine pain relief for about three months.
Are You Eligible for Botox for Migraines?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Botox to treat chronic migraines in patients age 18 and over. If an individual experiences a migraine attack for the first time, he or she can visit a primary care doctor for assistance. However, if migraine pain occurs for a minimum of 15 days per month, a patient may require extra help. At this point, meeting with a neurologist is ideal. A neurologist will evaluate a migraine patient, and if necessary, provide a chronic migraine diagnosis. He or she may also prescribe migraine medications to treat a patient’s migraine symptoms.
Migraine medications fall into three categories: preventative, abortive and rescue. They help treat pain at all stages of a migraine attack. But in some cases, migraine medications cause intolerable side effects. Or, migraine medications sometimes fail to alleviate migraine pain. In either of these instances, migraine medications are ineffective. And at this time, a chronic migraine patient may be eligible for Botox.
Is Botox a Surefire Treatment for Migraines?
Although Botox is a safe, effective treatment for chronic migraines, it offers no guarantees. However, if a chronic migraine patient tries Botox and finds the treatment does not work, minimally invasive migraine surgery may provide a viable alternative.
Like Botox, migraine surgery is available to chronic migraine patients. Migraine surgery treats muscular or nerve trigger points that cause migraine pain. These trigger points are located inside of the nose and around the face, scalp and neck.
Migraine surgery is complex, and each procedure is tailored to a patient’s migraine trigger points. It is an outpatient procedure usually performed under general anesthesia and requires between one to five hours to complete. Also, migraine surgery can be used to treat one or more migraine trigger sites.
The side effects of migraine surgery are generally minimal. Some scarring may occur, and the size and visibility of post-surgery scars varies based on the surgical site. Patients may experience swelling and bruising for one to two weeks after migraine surgery, and antibiotics may be prescribed for the first week after treatment.
Most migraine surgery patients can return home the same day as surgery. In certain instances, migraine surgery patients may require stitches. Surgical drains are sometimes required, too.
To date, at least 90% of chronic migraine patients have reported a significant reduction in migraine frequency, duration or intensity after minimally invasive migraine surgery. Additionally, nearly 50% of chronic migraine patients were migraine-free following surgery.
Find Out If You Qualify for Botox or Surgery for Migraines
Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute is a board-certified head and neck surgeon with dual-subspecialty training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. His goal is to help chronic migraine patients permanently address their migraine pain. To accomplish this goal, Dr. Cabin requests a consultation to evaluate a chronic migraine patient and determine the best treatment option.
Each consultation is a valuable learning experience for Dr. Cabin and his patient. Dr. Cabin reviews a patient’s migraine history and learns about his or her migraine symptoms. He also uses doppler testing, steroid nasal spray and other assessments to verify a patient’s migraine trigger points.
If Dr. Cabin determines a patient is a good candidate for Botox or surgery, he next crafts a personalized treatment plan for this individual. Dr. Cabin explains all aspects of treatment, and in doing so, helps a patient make an informed treatment decision.
Of course, if a patient has concerns or questions about Botox or surgery for migraines, Dr. Cabin is happy to respond to them. Dr. Cabin also works closely with a patient throughout the course of a migraine treatment. He tracks a patient’s progress to ensure a migraine treatment is delivering the best-possible results. Dr. Cabin will adjust a migraine treatment as needed so a patient can achieve his or her desired results as well.
Schedule a Migraine Treatment Consultation with Dr. Cabin Today
Chronic migraine pain sometimes makes it tough to work, go to school or enjoy everyday activities. Fortunately, Dr. Cabin helps chronic migraine patients who find that their current medications fail to address migraine pain. By meeting with Dr. Cabin, a chronic migraine patient can find out if he or she is a good candidate for Botox or migraine surgery. Then, Dr. Cabin can develop a custom treatment plan to deliver long-lasting migraine pain relief.
Dr. Cabin is available to meet with a patient and discuss treatments for chronic migraines. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Cabin, please call us today at 310.461.0303.
There are many reasons why migraine headaches occur, including vitamin deficiencies. Now, let’s examine three vitamin deficiencies that have been linked to migraine pain.
1. Vitamin D
Research indicates a vitamin D deficiency may contribute to migraine headaches, and perhaps it is easy to understand why. Vitamin D safeguards the body against inflammation and supports nerve health. As such, a person dealing with a vitamin D deficiency may be more susceptible than others to inflammation and nerve pain that results in migraines.
A person can absorb vitamin D into his or her skin via direct sunlight. Therefore, in some instances, doctors recommend sun exposure on bare skin for about five to 10 minutes per day, two to three days per week to treat a vitamin D deficiency.
Additionally, vitamin D supplements are available. These supplements can be taken regularly to help a person gradually boost his or her vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D is easy to find in a variety of foods, too. Cheese, egg yolks, tuna, salmon and beef liver are foods rich in vitamin D. Meanwhile, soy milk and orange juice are among the beverages that contain high levels of vitamin D.
A lack of magnesium has been linked to headaches and migraines. Comparatively, magnesium supplementation sometimes helps people treat visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting and other migraine symptoms.
Research shows magnesium sometimes offers a preventative migraine treatment. Various studies indicate migraine patients may require an average of 600 mg of magnesium over the course of three to four months to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Also, studies reveal magnesium is often more effective to treat migraine pain in patients dealing with aura.
Certain foods and beverages can be added to a person’s diet to increase his or her magnesium levels. Cereals, black beans, nuts and grains are foods rich in magnesium, while tea and coffee are beverages that contain high levels of magnesium.
The daily recommended amount of magnesium is 400 mg to 420 mg for men and 310 mg to 320 mg for women, according to the National Institutes of Health. However, each person’s body absorbs magnesium at a different rate. This means the amount of magnesium required to combat migraines varies from person to person. And if a person’s body absorbs too much magnesium at once, this individual may experience diarrhea, cramps, vomiting and other adverse side effects.
Riboflavin, also referred to as vitamin B2, is essential to human health, as it breaks down carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy. Yet vitamin B2 can only be stored in small amounts in the body, and people who fail to consume and maintain adequate amounts of riboflavin may be susceptible to migraines.
A diet rich in foods that contain high levels of vitamin B2 may help an individual alleviate his or her migraine symptoms. Foods like avocados, eggs, fish, meat and poultry contain high levels of vitamin B2. But keep in mind that vitamin B2 is water-soluble, and boiling foods may cause riboflavin to be lost during the food preparation process.
Other Vitamin Deficiencies Associated with Migraines
In addition to the aforementioned vitamin deficiencies, people who lack sufficient amounts of folate and coenzyme Q10 may be more prone than others to migraine attacks.
Folate is a B-vitamin used to produce red and white blood cells in bone marrow, RNA and DNA, as well as transform carbohydrates into energy. Folate-deficiency anemia may develop in individuals who lack folic acid, a synthesized version of folate, in the blood. In this instance, an individual may experience migraines, along with a lack of energy, decreased appetite, pale skin and other physical symptoms.
A recent study published in The Journal of Headache and Pain highlighted the use of folic acid to treat migraine symptoms. The study revealed migraine patients who were given 2 mg of folic acid in conjunction with vitamins B12 and B6 achieved greater success in reducing their migraine symptoms than patients who received 1 mg of folic acid in combination with vitamins B12 and B6.
Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance found in cells. Roughly one out of every 100,000 people are coenzyme Q10-deficient, the U.S. National Library of Medicine notes. Furthermore, a coenzyme Q10 deficiency may put a person at risk for migraines, heart disease and other medical issues.
In a recent study, researchers found individuals who frequently experienced migraines were more likely than others to have low levels of coenzyme Q10. They also discovered women who were coenzyme Q10-deficient were more susceptible than men to migraine headaches.
How to Treat Migraines Caused by a Vitamin Deficiency
Consulting with a doctor is the best way to treat a migraine caused by a vitamin deficiency. A doctor may prescribe migraine medications to treat migraine pain and offer tips and recommendations to prevent a single migraine from becoming a recurring problem.
For those who are dealing with ongoing migraines related to a vitamin deficiency, a consultation with a neurologist may be required. A neurologist can provide a chronic migraine diagnosis, and he or she may also prescribe migraine medications.
If a chronic migraine patient finds his or her current migraine medications are ineffective or cause intolerable side effects, Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute can help. Dr. Cabin is a head and neck surgeon with dual-subspecialty training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and his unique expertise enables him to offer personalized chronic migraine treatments. To learn more about how Dr. Cabin helps patients dealing with chronic migraine pain, please contact us today at 310.461.0303.
Home remedies for migraines are available that sometimes provide immediate pain relief. However, home remedy treatment results vary based on the individual, the severity of his or her migraine headache and other factors. Now, let’s take a look at five common home remedies for migraines.
Dehydration may trigger a headache that ultimately leads to a migraine, but drinking water helps treat this issue. Migraine Again reports a recent study of headache patients revealed nearly 65% of participants relieved their headache pain within 30 minutes of drinking water. Additionally, 32% of study participants reduced their headache pain within 3 hours of drinking water.
Research indicates exercise helps reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Exercise releases endorphins, i.e. natural painkillers produced by the body. It also helps people lower their stress levels and reduce their risk of insomnia. Plus, a regular exercise routine may help a person simultaneously treat his or her migraine pain and limit stress and sleeplessness that otherwise lead to migraines.
Caffeine acts as both a migraine inhibitor and trigger. As a migraine inhibitor, caffeine prevents blood vessels from narrowing and restricting blood flow to the brain – something that commonly results in migraine pain. Meanwhile, coffee, soft drinks and other caffeinated beverages can sometimes be consumed in conjunction with acetaminophen and aspirin to help relieve migraine pain. On the other hand, consuming too much caffeine at once increases a person’s risk of a migraine attack.
Hot or Cold Compress
Applying a hot or cold compress to the head or neck sometimes helps stop migraine pain. A hot compress helps relax tense muscles that cause migraine pain, while a cold compress helps numb muscles to dull migraine pain.
A lack of sleep or poor sleep habits can trigger a migraine attack. Therefore, if a person experiences a migraine attack at home, it may be a perfect time to lie down and rest. It also helps to sleep in a quiet, comfortable environment free of any potential distractions and develop a consistent sleep regimen to prevent future migraine attacks.
Which Home Remedy for Migraines Works Best?
The aforementioned home remedies for migraines are “quick-fix” treatments that may provide short-term migraine pain relief. They sometimes help individuals address head pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms during a migraine attack. But home remedies for migraines won’t cure all migraines, at all times.
Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute has a simple goal: to provide patients with long-term migraine pain relief. To accomplish this goal, Dr. Cabin offers Botox and minimally invasive migraine surgery to help chronic migraine patients who find that their current migraine medications are not working or cause intolerable side effects.
Botox temporarily prevents nerve cell signals from reaching the muscles. It is injected into the skin, relaxes the muscles and reduces excess muscle movement that sometimes causes migraine pain.
Migraine surgery treats migraine trigger points in the nose and around the face, neck and scalp. It permanently removes faulty nerve signals in the brain that result in migraines.
For chronic migraine patients who have tried home remedies for migraines or migraine medications and are considering Botox or migraine surgery, a consultation with Dr. Cabin is ideal. Prior to a migraine treatment consultation, Dr. Cabin requests a detailed patient medical history. Dr. Cabin then conducts a physical exam and uses specialized tests to verify a patient’s migraine trigger points. If Dr. Cabin believes Botox or migraine surgery can help a patient relieve his or her migraine symptoms, he next crafts a personalized treatment plan.
There is no need for chronic migraine patients to rely on ineffective home remedies for migraines or migraine medications. Instead, a chronic migraine patient can set up a consultation with Dr. Cabin to take the first step to find long-term relief for his or her migraine symptoms. To schedule a migraine treatment consultation with Dr. Cabin, please contact us today at 310.461.0303.
Happy New Year! 2019 has arrived, but it is not too late to make a New Year’s resolution. For those who are dealing with chronic migraines, now is a great time to explore some of the best migraine treatments of 2019.
Chronic migraine research is ongoing, and new treatments are becoming available that could help long-time migraine sufferers permanently address their migraine symptoms. Now, let’s take a look at eight of the best migraine treatments of 2019.
Botox ranks among the top non-surgical cosmetic treatments to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the face. It also helps chronic migraine sufferers minimize or eliminate their migraine symptoms. Research indicates that Botox injections help reduce the frequency, duration and severity of migraines. Plus, Botox injections may provide migraine relief within about five to seven days of treatment, and a single Botox treatment delivers results that generally last about three months or longer.
Migraine surgery is minimally invasive and treats faulty nerve signals in the brain that otherwise cause migraine symptoms. It addresses migraines related to trigger points located inside the nose and around the neck, face and scalp. Each migraine surgery is tailored to a patient’s trigger points, and as such, helps alleviate nerve irritation. Like Botox, migraine surgery has been shown to help patients limit migraine frequency, duration and severity. Additionally, roughly half of all migraine surgery patients have reported no migraines following treatment.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year approved Aimovig, an injectable migraine treatment that blocks a molecule that has been linked to migraine attacks. Clinical studies have shown that Aimovig may help patients experience fewer monthly migraine days. However, clinical studies also indicate that some Aimovig patients experience side effects such as pain, redness or swelling at the injection site.
Ajovy is an injectable prescription treatment for adults dealing with migraines. It has been shown to help adults treat chronic and episodic migraines and is available in quarterly or monthly dosing options. Ajovy can be administered at home or in a doctor’s office, too. But like any prescription migraine treatment, it is paramount to consult with a doctor before using Ajovy, as the treatment may cause itching, rashes and other allergic reactions.
The FDA last year approved the Emgality injectable treatment for migraine prevention in adults. It also granted Emgality a “breakthrough therapy designation” for its ability to stop cluster headaches. Emgality studies revealed the treatment helped both chronic and episodic migraine sufferers experience fewer migraine attacks. Furthermore, these studies indicated that Emgality may provide a viable substitute to Botox for migraines.
Cefaly is an FDA-approved external trigeminal nerve stimulation device designed for individuals who experience frequent migraine attacks. It involves the use of micro-impulses to the upper portion of the trigeminal nerve, a cranial nerve that is responsible for biting, chewing and other face and motor functions. Cefaly also offers two settings: “acute” for individuals who require immediate migraine pain relief and “prevent” for individuals who require a preventative migraine treatment.
SPG Nerve Block
Sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) nerve block is a procedure that numbs nerve cells inside and behind the nose; these nerve cells sometimes cause headaches. During an SPG procedure, a doctor inserts a thin plastic tube into a patient’s nose and applies anesthetic to numb his or her SPG. Following an SPG treatment, a patient may experience numbness. But once the numbness wears off, a patient may continue to experience migraine pain relief.
Chronic migraine sufferers sometimes use acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) or mindfulness-based therapy as part of a migraine treatment program. ACT is used to help a migraine patient accept his or her migraine pain, develop goals and take steps to achieve these aspirations. Comparatively, mindfulness-based therapy helps a migraine patient manage his or her migraine pain, along with anxiety, depression and other feelings associated with this pain.
The Bottom Line on the Best Migraine Treatments of 2019
There was no shortage of migraine treatments available to address migraine pain in 2018. Meanwhile, 2019 may prove to be a landmark year for those seeking migraine pain relief.
Yet choosing between the best migraine treatments is often difficult, particularly for individuals who are dealing with chronic migraines and find that their current migraine medications are ineffective or cause unwanted side effects. Fortunately, Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute is happy to help chronic migraine sufferers evaluate the best migraine treatments.
Dr. Cabin possesses board certification in head and neck surgery and dual-subspecialty training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Cabin’s unique expertise allows him to help each patient identify the root cause of his or her migraine pain. Dr. Cabin also performs a comprehensive patient evaluation and develops a personalized treatment plan designed to deliver long-lasting migraine pain relief.
A consultation with Dr. Cabin offers a great starting point for those who want to permanently treat their migraine symptoms. To set up a consultation with Dr. Cabin, please contact us today at 310.461.0303.
Migraine pain can make it tough to enjoy life. Fortunately, there are many actions a migraine sufferer can take to reduce or eliminate migraine pain, and these include:
Identify Your Migraine Triggers
There are four anatomical migraine triggers: the forehead, temples, nose and neck. Additionally, physical conditions like stress and fatigue, dietary and lifestyle changes and other factors may increase an individual’s risk of migraines. For a person who experiences migraine pain, it is important to consult with a primary care doctor. Then, this individual can work with a doctor to identify and manage his or her migraine triggers.
Get Sufficient Rest
A good night’s sleep may go a long way toward preventing migraines. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends adults between the ages of 26 and 64 get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. If a person follows the NSF’s recommendation, he or she could put migraine pain to rest.
Research indicates moderate aerobic exercise helps minimize the severity and length of migraines and reduce migraine frequency. Plus, regular aerobic exercise helps alleviate stress, a common migraine trigger.
Avoid Skipping Meals
The hustle and bustle of everyday life sometimes causes people to miss meals during the day. Yet even a single missed meal may cause a drop in blood sugar that ultimately leads to migraine pain. Thus, if a person eats meals regularly throughout the day, he or she can maintain a consistent blood sugar level. And as a result, this individual can limit the risk of low blood sugar that otherwise sets off a migraine.
Watch Your Diet
In addition to when a person eats, the food an individual consumes may have far-flung effects on his or her migraine pain. Chocolate, artificial sweeteners and aged cheeses, for example, are known migraine triggers. If migraines commonly occur after a person consumes certain foods, this individual may want to remove these foods from his or her diet.
A lack of fluid in the body may cause a dehydration headache or migraine. Therefore, an individual should drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration headaches and migraines. The daily recommended amount of water is roughly 13 8-oz. glasses for men and approximately nine 8-oz. glasses for women, according to the Institute of Medicine. By following this recommendation, men and women can quench their thirst and combat migraine pain at the same time.
Manage Your Stress
Work, school and other everyday life stressors may cause tension, as well as migraine pain. If a person starts to feel tense, engaging in a relaxing activity may help this individual calm down and prevent a migraine. Stress-relieving activities like practicing yoga, walking or listening to calming music may help a person manage tension. Best of all, these activities are instant stress-reducers that deliver proven results.
Avoid Bright Lights and Loud Noises
Bright lights and loud noises are sometimes unavoidable. They are also known migraine triggers. If a person spends an excess amount of time in front of a computer screen or TV, he or she may experience severe migraine pain. On the other hand, if this individual can identify the first signs of a migraine, he or she will know exactly when to take a computer screen or TV break.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
In some instances, high humidity and hot temperatures are linked to migraine pain. If certain weather conditions lead to migraine pain, it never hurts to step indoors. That way, an individual can limit his or her weather-related migraine pain.
Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenarios
When it comes to migraine prevention, preparation is key. By consulting with a doctor, an individual can work with a medical professional to find the best way to treat his or her migraine pain. He or she may also receive medications to help combat migraines any time they occur.
The aforementioned tips are beneficial for migraine sufferers. However, chronic migraine sufferers who find that their current medications are ineffective or cause intolerable side effects may require additional help.
Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute helps chronic migraine sufferers achieve long-term migraine pain relief. As a board-certified head and neck surgeon with dual subspecialty training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, Dr. Cabin works with chronic migraine sufferers to help them identify their migraine triggers and permanently address their migraine pain. To find out more about Dr. Cabin’s approach to migraine treatment and prevention, please contact us today at 310.461.0303 to schedule a consultation.
Migraines may occur at any time – even during a vacation. To better understand why this may be the case, let’s consider how a vacation works.
A vacation usually enables a person to visit a fun destination of his or her choice. Yet determining where to go on vacation and how to reach this destination may be stressful. A person’s stress levels may rise once he or she reaches a vacation destination, too. And as a person tries to figure out where to go and what to do during a vacation, stress may lead to migraine headaches.
Additionally, recent research shows that migraines sometimes occur due to a reduction in stress levels. This research indicates that a person who is vacationing at a beach, spa resort or any other relaxing destination may be susceptible to a migraine headache.
For those who want to enjoy stress- and headache-free vacations, there are lots of ways to minimize the risk of vacation migraines. Now, let’s take a look at five tips to help alleviate vacation migraines.
Plan Ahead As Much As Possible
A vacation plan may help you ease the stress commonly associated with traveling. Before you embark on your vacation, get organized. Pick up travel supplies, pack your luggage and give yourself plenty of time to reach your vacation destination.
Get Plenty of Rest
Traveling may be exhausting, and a lack of sleep may increase your susceptibility to migraine headaches. Therefore, you should try to get sufficient sleep the night before you depart for your vacation. You should also stick to your regular sleep routine and get seven to nine hours of sleep per night throughout your vacation.
Dehydration may cause mild headaches or severe migraines. If you travel to a warm-weather vacation destination or hike, ski or perform other rigorous vacation activities, drink plenty of water. If necessary, carry a water bottle and refill it frequently so you can stay hydrated.
Watch Your Diet
If you know chocolate, cheese and other foods trigger your migraine symptoms, you should avoid these foods during your vacation. Additionally, try to maintain a regular eating schedule throughout your vacation, as extended periods without eating may cause headaches or migraines.
Establish Realistic Vacation Expectations
Although you may want to do everything possible to make the most of your vacation, resist the temptation to do too much. Remember, consuming excess amounts of sweets or alcohol during a vacation may cause migraines. Too much activity may also increase your risk of migraine headaches.
If a person experiences a vacation migraine, consulting with a doctor is paramount. That way, a doctor can evaluate this individual, learn about his or her migraine symptoms and determine the best way to treat these symptoms.
Of course, if a person has already received a chronic migraine diagnosis and finds that his or her migraine medications are ineffective or cause intolerable side effects, additional assistance may be needed. In this case, a consultation with Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute is ideal.
Dr. Cabin is a board-certified head and neck surgeon and has dual-subspecialty training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. He uses his unique expertise to help patients address the underlying causes of migraine symptoms. Dr. Cabin performs an in-depth evaluation to understand a patient’s migraine triggers. He then offers a personalized migraine treatment recommendation.
In certain instances, Dr. Cabin recommends Botox to treat migraine symptoms. Comparatively, Dr. Cabin sometimes recommends minimally invasive migraine surgery to permanently remove faulty nerve signals in the brain that cause migraines.
Chronic migraine sufferers who are worried about vacation migraine headaches can meet with Dr. Cabin to discuss their concerns and questions. To set up a consultation with Dr. Cabin, please contact us today at 310.461.0303.
Recent research indicates there may be a correlation between heat and migraines. In one study of 77 migraine sufferers, 62% of participants were sensitive to weather conditions. Additionally, 34% of study participants were sensitive to absolute temperature and humidity, 14% were sensitive to changing weather patterns, and 13% were sensitive to barometric pressure. Among these study participants, 39% were sensitive to one of the aforementioned weather factors, and 12% were sensitive to two of these factors.
To date, there is no research that actually confirms there is a correlation between heat and migraines. Researchers continue to investigate the potential link between heat and migraines, and additional studies are necessary to verify if heat can actually cause migraine symptoms.
Forehead: Results in migraine pain above the eye or on the forehead.
Temples: Causes migraine pain to one or both sides of the temples.
Nose: Leads to migraine pain behind the eye that affects one or both sides of the nose.
Neck: Involves migraine pain from the back of the neck that affects one or both sides of the neck.
For those who experience migraines, it is crucial to find out what is triggering these headaches. That way, migraine sufferers can take the necessary steps to alleviate their migraine pain both now and in the future.
How Does Dr. Cabin Help Patients Address Migraine Pain?
Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute understands migraine triggers vary from person to person. Fortunately, Dr. Cabin tailors each treatment to a patient’s migraine triggers. This approach ensures Dr. Cabin can help a patient achieve long-term migraine pain relief.
Prior to visiting Dr. Cabin, an individual must receive a chronic migraine diagnosis from a neurologist. If this individual finds his or her migraine medications cause unwanted side effects or fail to deliver the desired results, Dr. Cabin then can meet with him or her to explore alternative treatment options.
Dr. Cabin offers interventional migraine treatments. To determine which migraine treatment will work best, Dr. Cabin first conducts a full patient evaluation. He examines a patient’s migraine symptoms and medical history and performs a series of tests. Also, Dr. Cabin often asks a patient to maintain a journal to track his or her migraine symptoms.
Following a patient assessment, Dr. Cabin may recommend Botox injections or minimally invasive surgery. Botox for migraines temporarily prevents nerve cell signals from reaching muscles in the face, thereby reducing abnormal muscle contractions that otherwise cause migraines. Surgery for migraines permanently removes faulty nerve signals in the brain that lead to migraines.
Dr. Cabin develops a custom migraine treatment plan for each patient. He teaches patients about their migraine treatment options and helps them prepare accordingly. Plus, Dr. Cabin monitors a patient’s progress to ensure this individual can alleviate his or her migraine symptoms.
Chronic migraine sufferers who find their current medications are insufficient may benefit from a consultation with Dr. Cabin. To find out more, please contact us today at 310.461.0303.
That superhero movie you’ve been dying to see is coming out soon, and everyone you know is going to see it on opening night in 3D. You want to go with them but you hesitate to buy a ticket because you worry that it will trigger a migraine. You may be right to save your popcorn for a 2D screening.
There is a risk of migraines that comes from watching a 3D movie, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology. In fact, people who suffer from migraines have more than three times the risk of developing a 3D-induced headache compared to most other moviegoers. (Young women were also found to be at higher risk.) While more research needs to be done to determine the specific reasons behind this finding, it has been suggested that possible causes could be light sensitivity, eye strain, the movie’s frame speed, intensity of the film’s visual effects and the way images are projected through the 3D glasses required to view these films.
This kind of 3D technology is still making advances in TV, video games and other forms of media, and there aren’t studies yet to show their effects in the short or long term. However, as with 3D movies, it may be best to be careful about being exposed to these types of 3D video uses whenever possible if you are susceptible to migraines, especially if you already have migraines after watching a 3D movie.
For some people, even regular 2D movies can cause a migraine—usually if the film is filled with bright lighting, frenetic editing and rapidly-paced action sequences. Even the theater itself can cause problems if the sound is too loud or the light from the screen is too bright. So how can you avoid migraines while still enjoying a movie? Here are some suggestions to try out:
Avoid 3D movies in favor of 2D films whenever possible, especially if the movies are heavy on visual effects that could cause headache or eye fatigue that could lead to a migraine.
Sit as far back from the screen as possible. The distance can help ease the strain that can happen when you sit too close to the screen. You may want to go to a theater where you can reserve specific seats in advance to ensure you get the best vantage point.
Rest before and after the film and avoid any migraine triggers during those times, such as watching TV or being in a room with bright lights.
If loud noise is a trigger, you may want to invest in some sound-muffling ear plugs you can wear during the movie.
If you’re watching a movie at home, don’t sit too close to the TV, adjust the screen settings on the monitor to lower brightness and don’t watch the show in a dark room. You may also want to pause the movie about every 20 to 30 minutes so you can give your eyes a rest.