Patients suffering migraine headaches can consult with a neurologist and receive world-class migraine treatment at the John R. Graham Headache Center at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital. The Center has received international recognition for clinical excellence, for research on women's issues, and for pioneering new approaches to migraine treatment.
What is a migraine?
A migraine is a headache with throbbing or pulsing pain, often on one side of the head. A person with a migraine may be very sensitive to light and sound, and may also become nauseated. Some people see flashing lights or zigzag lines and may temporarily lose their vision. Approximately 12 percent of people in the U.S. get migraines, and women experience migraines three times more often than men.
Many people who get migraine headaches can identify triggers that seem to start the onset of symptoms. Common triggers include:
Stress and other strong emotions
Biological and environmental conditions including our hormonal shifts and exposure to light
Flickering or glaring lights
Migraine treatment at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital
Migraine treatment depends on many factors, including the patient's age, overall health and medical history, as well as the severity of the migraine headache and tolerance for specific medications or therapies. Migraine treatment at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital may include:
Preventive medications – this migraine treatment involves taking drugs regularly, often on a daily basis, to help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches.
Symptomatic medications – this type of migraine treatment involves the taking medication during a migraine attack and is designed to stop symptoms that have already started.
Recommendations for non-drug therapies – an alternative migraine treatment such as acupuncture, biofeedback, massage therapy, or cognitive behavioral therapy may help mitigate chronic migraine pain.
Botox injections to dull future headache symptoms.
Occidental nerve block treatment to limit pain messages sent by the occidental nerve to the brain.
Trigger point injections to relax areas of muscle spasm that may contribute to a migraine headaches.
Lifestyle changes such as avoiding known triggers, changing eating habits, resting in a quiet and dark environment, exercise, and stress management techniques.