Treatments And Technologies We Use To Treat Migraines
There are many different ways to treat migraines, and it’s just as well because we don’t all respond to the same stuff.
The ultimate key to successful treatment of migraines is working with a team who are willing to take a sufficiently flexible approach, and trial a number of different therapies to see what works best on your specific case.
Low Energy Laser Therapy is the application of specific deeply penetrating light waves to a painful area. Light with a wavelength in the red to near infrared region of the spectrum (660nm–905nm) is generally employed because these wavelengths have the ability to penetrate skin, and soft/hard tissues.
A great many clinical trials have shown this type of treatment has a meaningful effect on pain, inflammation and tissue repair. In our experience people with neck pain often experience immediate improvements in their pain after laser sessions.
Shockwave Therapy is a non-surgical – non-drug-based – scientifically approved therapy that is widely used as a pain treatment. There have been literally hundreds of studies that support the use of shockwave therapy for a very wide range of pain complaints.
Shockwave Therapy was originally developed for its application as a non-invasive treatment of kidney stones. We use a gentler form of the same technology to break up deep muscle knots and tracts of scar tissue in the neck. For more information on shockwave therapy visit our shockwave homepage here.
Acupuncture can be used to relieve and ease migraine headaches in many cases. Literally millions of people have reported success with this approach to treating their migraines.
The aim behind acupuncture as a treatment for migraine is to reduce muscle spasms, increase blood flow and create a more harmonious exchange of information between the liver region and the neck region.
The painful points that you feel in certain points with deep tissue massage are called ‘myofascial trigger points. These painful points of tension and disturbance in the muscles can cause a great deal of pain.
Trigger points in the neck and jaw are a major factor in many cases of migraines. Releasing these points not only brings relief for many patients, often the migraine can be felt to increase or ‘come on’ as they are worked upon. We find that if you can trigger a migraine by pressing on a muscle point you can help greatly with the migraine history by releasing that point over time.
The small joints in the upper part of your neck are called ‘facet joints’. Facet joints are knuckle-sized cartilage joints that are richly innervated with sensory nerve endings and can be major pain generators if they aren’t happy.
Releasing and mobilising stiff inflamed spinal joints can be a huge help to many migraine sufferers. If you suffer from migraines and periodic feelings of tension or discomfort in your neck you may be in need of spinal mobilisation to free the joints.
Many of us hold untold tension in our jaws without even realising. If you have been told you grind your teeth at night it means you are a particularly extreme case.
Jaw clenching over time can lead to a build-up of stiffness and inflammation in the temporomandibular joint which is the ‘hinge’. Mobilising the joint if it has built up stiffness and stress can be of great benefit to migraine sufferers.
A percentage of migraines relate to unresolved whiplash and sport type injuries to the neck and jaw. Many of the ‘old wounds’ we carry around have not been fully rehabilitated, as a society we are not that great at rehab.
Along with muscle wasting many of us develop tracts of scar tissue after an injury that can cause us problems in the long term. Using safe non-invasive scraping techniques and specific stretches, scar tissue and be broken down and re-modelled.
Migraines have a significant emotional component in many cases. A significant percentage of migraine sufferers for example are people who struggle to express frustration/anger and tend to let those feelings build up.
We don’t do this kind of therapy at Featherston Street Pain Clinic but consider ourselves to be excellent at identifying whether you might benefit from an increase in emotional resilience in the longer term. In these instances, we make gentle recommendations and can make referrals.
There is a range of exercise types that you may find that you need in order to get good longer-term outcomes for your migraine issues. At Featherston Street Pain Clinic we aim to cover all bases when it comes to exercise prescription, this is because people’s needs vary greatly.
Some migraine sufferers benefit from learning exercises that deeply stretch the soft tissues in the upper neck. Some migraine sufferers need exercises to help them learn to stop clenching the muscles in their neck and jaw when they are stressed. Some migraine sufferers benefit greatly in the longer term from strength-based postural exercises.
The release of chronically tight muscles is in some ways like the topic of exercise prescription, there are general rules of engagement but ultimately we all have our own unique requirements.
A percentage of migraine sufferers find that the only way to release the muscle spasm in their neck/shoulders/jaw is with deep vibration. At Featherston Street Pain Clinic we use handheld mechanical massage devices to assist with the release of muscle spasms for that need this kind of technique in order to progress with their migraine treatment.
Time is seldom kind to the stubborn and recurring pains that affect us throughout life. The niggly neck pain that comes and goes in our 30’s and 40’s often becomes the unrelenting pain that destroys our basic quality of life in our 70’s and 80’s. We take the potential longer term repercussions of unrehabilitated pain conditions seriously. Prevention is not for everyone… but we believe in it passionately and it’s a major part of our offering.