Surgical Treatment of Migraine Headaches

A study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery shows that trigger site surgery may aid in reducing or even eliminating migraine headaches. 100 patients in a study underwent injection of botulinum toxin A (Botox) into up to 4 potential trigger sites. If a trigger site was identified to be effective than surgery was performed in that trigger area in order to decompress nerves and remove muscles. 71 of 79 patients that were evaluated over a 5 year period were observed to have improvement. This meant they had less mean migraine intensity and or less mean migraine duration. 20 of 69 patients (29.0%) reported elimination of migraines and 41 of 69 patients (59.4%) experience a significant decrease. Surgery is not without risk and neither is injection of botulinum toxin A.  2 patients had hypersensitivity, 2 patients had hyposensitivity, and 2 patients … Read more

Headaches in Teens Tied to Obesity, Smoking, and Lack of Exercise

These findings certainly come as no surprise. Teenagers who are overweight, get little exercise, or who smoke may be more likely to have frequent headaches and migraines when compared to teens who do not have these characteristics. Teens with all three of the previously described negative lifestyle factors were 3.4 times more likely to have frequent headaches than those with none of those factors. Fifty five percent of those teens with all three of these negative lifestyle factors have frequent headaches where as 25% of teens without any of these factors have frequent headaches. Another result of the study was that those with two negative lifestyle factors were 1.8 times more likely to have frequent headaches. Looking individually at the negative lifestyle factors: smoking teens have headaches 50% more frequently, overweight teens have headaches 40% more frequently and teens who … Read more

Needles and Their Effects on Headaches

Two separate systematic reviews by Cochrane Researchers show  acupuncture is  for prevention of headaches and migraines. However the reviews show  faked procedures, where needles are incorrectly inserted, may be as effective. “Much of the clinical benefit of acupuncture might be due to non-specific needling effects and powerful placebo effects, meaning selection of specific needle points may be less important than many practitioners have traditionally argued,” says lead researcher of both studies, Klaus Linde. Two seperate studies were done one with migraine and the other with tension type headaches. Patients treated with acupuncture over an 8 week time course, suffered fewer headaches compared to those who were given only pain killers. In the migraine study, acupuncture was superior to proven prophylactic drug treatments, but faked treatments were no less effective. In the tension headache study, true acupuncture was actually slightly more … Read more

Headache After Brain Injury

U.S. soldiers who have been in Iraq are returning to the United States with headaches. This is the result of a mild trauma or exposure to a blast. This information was presented at American Academy of Neurology’s 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle. The study involved nearly 1,000 U.S. Army soldiers returning from Iraq or Afghanistan last year in 2008. All had experienced a concussion, head injury or blast exposure while deployed. Nearly 98 percent of the soldiers reported having headaches during the last three months of their deployment. The headaches started within one week of the traumatic brain injury for 37 percent of the soldiers, and within one to four weeks for 20 percent. Among the soldiers whose headaches started within a week of the injury, 60 percent had migraine-like headaches and 40 percent had headaches that interfered with their … Read more