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Migraine Therapy
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Migraine Therapy

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 treating them.

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

Pain relief:

  • 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.

Migraine prevention:

  • 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

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.