Migraines – Different Treatment Alternatives…

Migraines – Unbelievably, a definitive cause for migraine has still not been identified. It is believed the condition is due to “abnormal” brain activity that affects nerve signaling, and chemicals and blood vessels in the brain. Unfortunately Western medicine continues to still rely so much on medicines to treat migraine.  But there are so many other ways, that do not involve medicine where we can help migraine symptoms.

Here are some useful, easy tips that you can try.

Firstly see an osteopath! -Anyone with acute and ongoing migraines knows how debilitating this condition can be.  Osteopaths will take the time to take a detailed history and work out any external factors. This is vital, and osteopaths are very qualified to do this.  Anything that increase neurological input into the complex nerves that cause migraines can be a factor.  This can be food groups, smells, sunlight, noise etc.  It can even by your teeth, other medicines, stress, hormones.  So, taking a detailed history is paramount.

Migraines are strongly linked to the trigeminal nerve and occipital nerve.  These nerves have intimate connections to your upper neck, and somewhat to your jaw.  Osteopaths will help relieve tension and reduce stimulation to these nerves.  This can create large changes to your migraine profile.

  1. TENS – For some people, a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine is used as an alternative to painkilling medication. A TENS machine is a small, portable and battery-operated device which is worn on the body. Small electrical pulses are transmitted to the body, like little electric shocks. These electrical impulses flood the nervous system, reducing its ability to transmit pain signals to the spinal cord and brain. The same electrical impulses also stimulate the body to produce natural pain relievers called endorphins. TENS machines are now being used to help relieve migraine pain.

There are a few different devices that are starting to hit the migraine market.  Here are some useful links to further explore this.

TENS for Trigeminal Nerve – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-10510343/The-drug-free-way-say-goodbye-migraine-pain-minutes.html

TENS for Trigeminal Nerve – Forehead https://cefaly.com.au/

TENS for occipital nerve – https://thejournalofheadacheandpain.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s10194-018-0868-9

  1. Neck Massagers – Portable massagers are getting very common. There are some very good quality massagers on the market. There are also massagers specifically for the neck.  These may help reduce migraine symptoms like any massage would do, its definitely worth a go.

4 BOTOX – we have had quite a few patients use Botox to help relieve their migraines.  Sometimes the relief is massive. This can be done by a GP, any specialist like a neurologist or cosmetic/plastic surgeon.  It reduces tension into the facial and neck muscles which reduces neurological input to the trigeminal and facial nerves.  Any number of spots can be injected ranging from the upper shoulders, neck muscles, occipital muscles and facial and scalp muscles.

  1. Acupuncture – there is evidence that acupuncture can help. We believe in it and have seen the results first hand. If you get acupuncture, its best to see someone qualified in traditional Chinese medicine.   Or you can even get acupuncture from some GPs that have qualifications in this field, that has the added benefit of getting some medicare rebates!

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