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Migraine - Treatment Options Available!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Devshi Visana 89% (17 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Ahmedabad  •  12 years experience
Migraine - Treatment Options Available!

A migraine often causes throbbing pain at one side of the head accompanied by sensitivity to sound and light, nausea and vomiting. The pain can last from a few hours to few days. Some warning signs of the pain take over include tingling of the leg or face, flashes of light and blind spots. Medication can help in avoiding the pain or manage it considerably.

Diagnosis:
Detection of a migraine is fairly easy for a medical professional. If a patient has a family history of a migraine, a doctor can prescribe the following to lock in on the diagnosis:

  • Blood tests: Through blood tests, a doctor tries to understand any possible problems in the blood vessels, spinal cord or presence of other toxins in the system
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Better known as MRI, this is a process of capturing the detailed image of the blood vessels and the brain. It readily detects any possible problems related to a migraine.
  • Computerized tomography: More commonly known as CT scan, this is a process of capturing an image through a line of x-rays to detect any possible problems related to a migraine.
  • Lumbar puncture: This test is prescribed in extreme cases when a doctor suspects that there is a possible chance of bleeding in the brain.

What are the treatment options available?
There are two kinds of medications available- preventive medication and pain relieving medication. The treatment strategy is decided based on the frequency of the headaches and other health factors.

Some pain reliever medication includes triptan, ergots, opioid, glucocorticoids, anti-nausea medications etc. These medicines constrict the blood vessels and block the pathways of the pain in the brain cells. While some medicines are required to be consumed immediately after the symptoms starts, some should be taken regularly to avoid the pain in the first place. These pain relievers have side effects and should be consumed after prior discussion with a doctor.

 

Preventive medication, on the other hand, is only suggested by a doctor when a patient suffers from a migraine twice or more in a month, the pain lasts for more than 12 hours and the pain relievers do not work. Some of the common group of medicines that are suggested for these set of patients include cardiovascular drugs, anti-seizure drugs, anti-depressants etc.

Alternative medicine approach:
Alternative medicines are often witnessed to fetch positive results for migraine patients:

  • Acupuncture: this form of treatment involves inserting thin needles into the skin at various points to give relief from pain
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: This is a form of treatment which focuses on perceiving pain with behavioral changes.
  • Biofeedback: This is a relaxation technique that teaches to control physical responses such as pain, stress, muscle contraction etc.

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