Migraine Treatment in Colorado
A migraine is a serious interruption to anyone’s day. People who
regularly suffer from migraines are forced to take sick days from work,
cancel plans with friends, and buy over the counter pain medications far
more often than anyone should have to. Medical researchers still do not
know what causes migraines, but they have made tremendous progress in
At Interventional Headache Center of Colorado, we keep up with the latest
in headache research so that we can offer our patients the latest, evidence-based
treatments for migraines. We thoroughly assess the severity and frequency
of our patients’ migraine attacks to find the underlying cause and
address it directly.
Migraine Therapies & Treatments
Analgesics – The first choice for mild to moderate migraine headaches are analgesics
(painkillers). Some analgesics that have proven effective and moderate
migraine treatment include tolfenamic acid, phenazone, diclofenac, naproxen,
ibuprofen, and paracetamol. These analgesics should be taken right when
the headache begins for best results
Triptans – 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonists are called triptans. These drugs are
used as second line for people with inadequate response to simple analgesics.
Response rates average around 65%, with 50% of people reporting no pain.
Ergot Derivatives – These are a niche brand of pain relievers that are only effective
for treating throbbing migraines. These drugs work by narrowing the blood
vessels around the brain, and altering blood flow patterns.
Topiramate – Used in seizure disorders, topiramate works by inhibiting glutamatergic
excitatory amino acid transmission, blocking calcium channels, and fast
sodium channel blockage. These processes suppress the initiation of a
headache through chemical reactions. Topiramate has been proven useful
for prevention of chronic migraine in many clinical trials.
Amitriptyline – Amitriptyline is an antidepressant that works for migraine prophylaxis
(prevention). A large randomized study showed that amitriptyline was an
effective preventive drug for chronic migraines. It works by changing
certain brain chemicals that are associated with migraine headaches.
Beta-Blockers – Another useful prevention drug class is the beta-blockers. Metoprolol
and propranolol work too prevent severe chronic migraines, and have shown
success in many clinical studies. These drugs work by relaxing and opening
up blood flow in the blood vessels. Changes of blood flow are associated
with migraines, so altering this mechanic reduces blood pressure and alleviates
force against the blood vessel walls.
Interventional treatments for migraines are minimally invasive procedures
that headache specialists employ when more traditional methods have failed.
We offer the following procedures:
Botox Injections – Botulinum toxin type A has been approved by the FDA for the treatment
of chronic migraines. Injections are given to the forehead, around the
eyes, and the back of the neck every 3-6 months. In several randomized
controlled studies, patients reported a decreased need for medication
and less frequent headache episodes when using Botox injections.
Greater Occipital Nerve Block – The greater occipital nerve has many sensory fibers that originate
from the second cervical (neck) region of the spinal cord. Injecting the
scalp with an anesthetic and/or steroid agent will block transmission
of pain signals. A study found that injecting the greater occipital nerves
using a combination of lidocaine and methylprednisolone showed improvement
for 55% of patients for up to 6 months.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) disrupts chemicals in
the brain by delivering a fluctuating magnetic field from the scalp, using
small electrical currents. This treatment is effective for migraine prevention.
Call 970-221-9451 to schedule an appointment for migraine therapy at any
one of our clinics in Boulder, Greeley, or Loveland.