Comprehensive Pain Management
(Formally known as Franklin Pain and Wellness and Warwick Pain)

Attleboro, MA(508) 236-8333
Franklin, MA(508) 507-8818
South Kingstown, RI (401) 234-9677
Warwick, RI(401) 352-0007

Franklin, MA • (508) 507-8818
Warwick, RI • (401) 352-0007
South Kingstown, RI • (401) 234-9677

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Migraine Headache Pain Treatment

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, October 18, 2018
Comprehensive Pain MD - Migraine Headache Pain Treatment

Migraine is a complex and often debilitating disorder. There are different types of migraines, and several treatment options. Migraine treatment approaches can be classified as acute treatments, which aim to reverse or stop the migraine symptoms, and preventive treatments, which aim to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Many people with migraine need both types of treatment. Another treatment strategy is to identify and avoid personal triggers.

To help figure out the best treatment approach, it’s helpful to start with a migraine journal. Keeping an accurate, complete diary of every migraine attack and all of your symptoms will help a pain specialist make a correct migraine diagnosis. The record of your pattern of pain will also assist the doctor in determining which treatment might work best for your situation.

The goal of migraine treatment

The U.S. Headache Consortium lists the following goals of long-term migraine treatment:

  • Reduce attack frequency and severity
  • Reduce disability
  • Improve quality of life
  • Prevent headache
  • Avoid headache medication escalation
  • Educate and enable patients to manage their disease

In addition, the U.S. Headache Consortium has established the following goals for successful treatment of acute migraine attacks:

  • Treat attacks rapidly and consistently without recurrence
  • Restore the individual’s ability to function
  • Minimize the use of back-up and rescue medications
  • Optimize self-care
  • Be cost-effective
  • Minimize side effects

Types of migraine treatments

Migraine treatments can be divided into various classifications: acute or preventive, as well as prescription or over-the-counter (OTC). Acute medications are those used when a migraine attack is currently happening. They are also known as abortive medications. Preventive medications are used on an ongoing basis, even when an attack is not occurring, in the hope that they will prevent or reduce attacks. Preventive medications are also called prophylactic medications.

Prescription migraine treatments

Examples of prescription drugs used as abortive medications for acute symptom relief include:

  • Calcitonin-gene-related peptide (CGRP) blockers
  • Triptans
  • DHE 45
  • Ergotamine

Examples of preventive or prophylactic prescription medications include:

  • Beta blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Antidepressants
  • Neuronal stabilizing agents or anticonvulsants

Over-the-counter

OTC medications for acute symptoms relief include:

  • Excedrin for migraine
  • Ibuprofen, which is sold under the brand names Advil and Motrin
  • Naproxen, sold under the brand name Aleve
  • Aspirin
  • Acetaminophen, sold under the brand name Tylenol
  • Nerve Stimulators

In addition to medications two nerve stimulators may be used in certain people with migraines who have not gotten relief from other methods.

The Cerena Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator is a device that is approved for people 18 years of age and older who have migraines with aura. It is held to the back of the head and delivers a pulse of magnetic energy.

A vagus nerve stimulator has also been approved for use in adults with migraines, as well as episodic cluster headaches. The hand-held device is placed over the vagus nerve in the neck where it releases a mild electrical stimulation to reduce pain.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Some people with migraines also use complementary and alternative medicine approaches to get relief from their migraine symptoms. Complementary and alternative medicine includes any medicinal products or practices that are not part of mainstream medicine given by medical doctors and allied health professionals, such as nurses or physical therapists. Alternative medicine is also defined by its use as an alternate to traditional medical care. Complementary medicine is used in combination with traditional medicine. These types of treatments include:

  • Natural remedies, such as herbal treatments, vitamins, minerals and other supplements
  • Mind-body medicine, such as meditation, biofeedback, yoga, acupuncture, tai chi and hypnotherapy
  • Manipulative and body-based practices, such as chiropractic spinal manipulation and massage therapy

As always, the best source for advice on treating your migraine is your own migraine pain specialist. For more information on treating migraine pain, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Attleboro, MA.

Source: migraine.com/migraine-treatment

What Is Shingles?

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, October 04, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in Attleboro, MA

Shingles is a disease that affects your nerves. It can cause burning, shooting pain, tingling, and/or itching, as well as a rash and blisters.

You may recall having chickenpox as a child. Shingles is caused by the same virus. After you recover from chickenpox, the virus continues to live in some of your nerve cells. It is usually inactive, so you don’t even know it’s there.

In fact, most adults live with the virus in their bodies and never get shingles. But, for about one in three adults, the virus will become active again. Instead of causing another case of chickenpox, it produces shingles. We do not totally understand what makes the virus go from inactive to active.

Having shingles doesn’t mean you have any other underlying disease.

What Are the Symptoms of Shingles?

Usually, shingles develops only on one side of the body or face and in a small area rather than all over. The most common place for shingles is a band that goes around one side of your waistline.

Most people have some of the following shingles symptoms:

  • Burning, tingling, or numbness of the skin
  • Feeling sick—chills, fever, upset stomach, or headache
  • Fluid-filled blisters
  • Skin that is sensitive to touch
  • Mild itching to strong pain
  • Depending on where shingles develops, it could also cause symptoms like hiccups or even loss of vision.

For some people, the symptoms of shingles are mild. They might just have some itching. For others, shingles can cause intense pain that can be felt from the gentlest touch or breeze.

Long-Term Pain and Other Lasting Problems

After the shingles rash goes away, some people may be left with ongoing pain called post-herpetic neuralgia or PHN. The pain is felt in the area where the rash had been. For some people, PHN is the longest lasting and worst part of shingles. The older you are when you get shingles, the greater your chance of developing PHN.

The PHN pain can cause depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and weight loss. Some people with PHN find it hard to go about their daily activities, like dressing, cooking, and eating. Talk with your doctor if you have any of these problems.

There are medicines that may help with PHN. Steroids may lessen the pain and shorten the time you’re sick. Analgesics, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants may also reduce the pain. Usually, PHN will get better over time.

Some people have other problems that last after shingles has cleared up. For example, the blisters caused by shingles can become infected. They may also leave a scar. It is important to keep the area clean and try not to scratch the blisters. Your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic treatment if needed.

See your doctor right away if you notice blisters on your face—this is an urgent problem. Blisters near or in the eye can cause lasting eye damage or blindness. Hearing loss, a brief paralysis of the face, or, very rarely, swelling of the brain (encephalitis) can also occur.

Our pain specialists will take your medical history and symptoms into account to create a treatment plan aimed at minimizing your pain.

For more information, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Attleboro, MA.

Source: nia.nih.gov


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