New Treatments for Headache Pain
Headache pain can be debilitating and often affects the quality of one’s life. Headaches can occur at any time for no particular reason, or they can be as a result of specific triggers, such as dehydration, poor food choices or sensitivity to light. Many people think that their only option is over-the-counter pain medications. However, new treatments are now available.
The following is a list of new treatments for chronic headache pain:
- Occipital Nerve Stimulator Implant
An occipital nerve stimulator is approximately the size of a credit card. It works by stimulating the brain to create a natural chemical, similar to morphine, that alleviates pain. Individuals can activate the device when a headache first appears.
OnabotulinumtoxinA is used to treat chronic headaches, tension headaches or migraines. It is well known for treating wrinkles. A doctor may use it to treat headaches that do not respond to other medications. Injections of onabotulinumtoxinA are known to cause pain relief for up to four months in most individuals.
- Nerve Blocks
A nerve block is a minimally invasive procedure that uses electrical currents to block pain signals sent to the brain. Many individuals see improvement in their pain levels for up to a year after treatment.
IMATCH is an intensive outpatient program that typically lasts three weeks. The ideal candidate is someone who deals with severe headaches several days a week. The program is designed to improve the individual’s ability to concentrate and function, rather than completely eliminate pain.
- Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
Clinical Studies for people who live with chronic migraines are currently underway to determine whether peripheral nerve stimulation is a safe and effective treatment option. It involves placing electrode devices along the peripheral nerves to control pain.