Migraine was first reported in history as early as 2000BC. As you can imagine, popular treatment has changed a lot in that time. In prehistoric times, headaches were thought to be a spiritual illness, and a form of craniotomy (where they remove part of the skull!) was used to allow the spirits a physical route to exit. While this form of extreme treatment isn’t common nowadays, surgical intervention for headache is still an option, leading many people to look for a less invasive option. Although there has been progress, the wide range of options and the mixed results mean many of our patients cant see a clear pathway to a migraine-free life.
Medications are most commonly prescribed treatment for migraine these days, but even they are based off a misconception about the underlying causes. Migraines used to be considered a vascular event, caused by changes in the blood flow to the brain. Triptan medication can be incredibly effective in relieving the symptoms of migraine, and it was initially thought that its success came from its vaso-constricting properties (or its ability to contract the walls of the arteries in the brain). It is likely that these medications actually work because of they can act like serotonin and de-sensitize the central nervous system and brainstem, as the vascular model of migraine has been disproven in the research. Drugs like imigrin, relpax, sumatriptan and rizatriptan are commonly prescribed by GPs in Australia, with mixed results.
Treatments like nerve blocks, corticosteroid injections and Botox are examples of the more invasive treatments available to headache & migraine sufferers in Australia. Much like triptan medication, these treatment options can be effective for some people, and often only for a short period of time before they become ineffective. Once their effect wears off, we commonly see patients back where they started and running out of effective options for treatment.
Both medication and injection treatments seem to be not entirely effective in treating headaches & migraines because they don’t attempt to target the underlying causes. Modern research has started to show that the neck can be a common cause of brainstem sensitivity and by extension headaches and migraines. Safe and specific treatment to the neck, addressing the underlying causes of migraine is now being seen as very successful treatment technique. The best thing is, its non-invasive and medication-free!
Give us a call today, on 1800 432322 or book online, to meet with one of our experienced clinicians.