What is Chronic Migraine?
An individual may be considered to be suffering from chronic migraine when he or she has headaches occurring 15 or more days per month of which 8 days or more have features of migraine, as described below, for at least 3 months.
Migraine is a specific type of headache with pain that can last anywhere from 4 hours up to 3 days.
- Pain is usually moderately to severely intense, throbbing or pulsating, and often occurring on 1 side of the head.
- Can be accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
- Can become aggravated (get worse) by routine physical activity (e.g., walking or climbing stairs).
- Changes in vision or hearing, called aura, may be present and come just before or just as the migraine begins.
Treatment Options for Chronic Migraines:
While there is no cure for Chronic Migraine, there are different types of treatment strategies or medications to manage migraine, and people with migraine should likely be on both types. Talk to our doctors to discuss treatment of headaches to find out how acute, preventive and alternative treatments may benefit your type of migraine.
- Acute medications (Symptomatic Treatment)
These medications are taken as needed once you have a migraine. The idea is to stop the pain once it has begun.
Some examples: Acetaminophen, NSAIDs, Triptans, Opiods, Ergot Derivatives,etc.
- Preventative Treatments
People who suffer from more frequent migraines may need to take steps to prevent migraines before they start, and reduce how often they happen or how severe they are. Should you add preventive therapy to your acute therapy? More than 1 in 4 people with migraines are candidates for preventive therapy. Preventive (also referred to as prophylactic) treatment for migraine can be considered for people who:
- Are not responding to acute medications
- Experience a substantial impact on their lives due to migraines
- Have a high frequency of migraine attacks
Could you benefit from preventive therapy?
Unlike treatments used at the start of a migraine, preventive medications are taken on a regular basis. These medications are only considered to be effective when taken long term.
The goals of preventive therapy are to:
- Prevent headaches from occurring
- Reduce migraine and headache frequency, severity, and duration
Which in turn may help to:
Improve function, reduce disability and improve health-related quality of life.
Some Examples of Preventative treatments: Botox®, Beta Blockers, Calcium Channel Blockers, Anti-convulsants (Topiramate)
- Alternative Treatments
There are many non-medication preventative options that can help reduce the severity and frequency of migraines. These alternative treatments can be used instead of medication treatments or in addition to them.
Some Examples of Alternative treatments: Behavioural Treatments eg. (Biofeedback, Relaxation training, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, etc); Alternative Pain Management Strategies eg. (Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Massage, Body work, Reiki, etc)
Contact our office at 905 486 0606 to book a consultation to discuss treatment options.
Pearl Medical Aesthetic
Unit 11, 1107 Lorne Park Road,
Mississauga, ON, L5H 3A1.
Call: 905 486 0606