The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 28 million Americans suffer from migraines and 4.5 million people live with chronic headache pain more than once a month. We know the number is enormous, just based on how many headache patients we see on a daily basis at our three Michigan Spine and Pain clinics. We treat a lot of headache pain.
Here is something we learned once about the history of headache pain in civilized society that certainly grabbed our attention: “In times gone by, headaches were often thought to be the work of evil spirits and rituals were performed to drive them off. In the Neolithic period, circular chunks of skull were removed in order to let the spirits escape. Oddly enough, people seemed to have survived these operations as skeletons have been found that showed new bone growth around these holes”. (source: www.health24.com/Medical/Headache-and-migraine/About-headache/Interesting-facts-about-headaches-20120721)
We promise there’s no drilling going on in any of our offices, but there is a never-ending effort to understand headache pain and provide our patients with the newest proven treatment options and the best research-based clinical understandings of the causes of headache pain. If you suffer from headache pain, it is important that you are able to learn as much as you want to about your condition. The American Headache Society is a highly respected national organization and the AHS web site www.americanheadachesociety.org is a great place to turn to for education, support and other resources. The site hosts information for both medical professionals and patients alike. Especially interesting for some of our patients will be the ACHE collection of Articles covering topics including:
- ABC’s of Headache Trigger Management
- Acute Migraine: Treating Early
- Biofeedback and Relaxation Training for Headaches
- Cluster Headache and Other Medical Conditions
- Drug Interactions in Headache: What to Watch for and Why
- Effects of Exercise on Headaches and Migraines
- How to Talk to Your Practitioner About Your Headaches
- Migraine in Women
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Sinus Headaches, Allergies, Asthma, and Migraine: More Than a Casual Relationship?
- Sleep, Insomnia, and Migraine
- Tips for Starting Yoga in Adults with Migraine
- When Should I See a Doctor about Migraines?
- When to go to the Emergency Room for a Headache or Migraine
Our understanding of headaches and headache treatment have come a very long way. The Greeks and Romans used to use peppermint tea to treat their headaches… they also drank infusions made from chamomile, rosemary and lavender. They also applied raw potato, cabbage and onion to the head.
We promise not to tell you your pain is the fault of evil spirits and we won’t send you home with just chamomile tea and a raw potato. We will spend all the time necessary in order to understand your headache symptoms in consultation with you and our full team of doctors and therapists to design the best headache relief plan for your unique situation.