Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines, MRI, physical health

10 Reasons Why an MRI Scan is Valuable

(Image: Para-sagittal MRI of the head, with aliasing artifacts (nose and forehead appear at the back of the head)

MRI Scans Explained

What is an MRI scan?

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanning is a medical investigation that uses an exceptionally strong magnet and radio frequency waves to generate images of your body.

Why would I need an MRI scan?

An MRI scan is one of the most sophisticated diagnostic tools available to help a referring clinician understand the cause of your particular health issue.

What can be diagnosed by an MRI scan?

By scanning the relevant sector(s) of a patient’s body, an MRI scan can help to diagnose the following: Continue reading “10 Reasons Why an MRI Scan is Valuable”

Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines

Botox highly effective for more than easing Chronic Migraine Pain

Chronic migraine is defined as having migraines 15 or more days a month.  I was amazed that this treatment eases migraines, as well as, other disorders.  (The image above shows Botox injection points)

New guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology suggest that Botox can be used as a “safe and effective” way to treat chronic migraine headaches, among other neurological disorders.

Botulinum toxin is normally used as a cosmetic treatment to smooth out wrinkles, but it can also reduce muscle contractions and the transmission of pain signals by blocking the release of neurotransmitters from nerve endings.

The authors of the updated guideline reviewed scientific studies on the four preparations of botulinum toxin available in the United States.

Chronic migraine is defined as having migraines 15 or more days a month, the study authors explained.

Spasticity has many causes, including multiple sclerosis, stroke, and head or spinal-cord trauma, according to the guidelines. Simpson is with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Continue reading “Botox highly effective for more than easing Chronic Migraine Pain”

Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines, pregnancy

Pregnancy Often Leads to Changes in Migraines

Women who suffer from migraines may notice changes in their headache patterns when they’re pregnant, experts say.

For example, many women will have fewer migraines during pregnancy.

“If you suffer from migraine, there’s a good chance your migraine attacks will improve during pregnancy,” Dr. David Dodick, chair of the American Migraine Foundation, said in a foundation news release.

Research has shown that 50 to 80 percent of women who have migraine before pregnancy may notice a reduction in migraine attacks, especially in the second and third trimesters, likely due to a rise in estrogen levels,” said Dodick, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Arizona.

Women who have migraines associated with menstruation are particularly likely to have fewer attacks during pregnancy, the study authors pointed out.

Continue reading “Pregnancy Often Leads to Changes in Migraines”

Posted in cell phones, health, migraines

Can I get Migraines from my Cell Phone?

Are you constantly on your smartphone during the day? What about the Internet, PC or tablet during the day then perhaps keeping you from going to bed at a decent hour at night? This may be triggering your migraines.

Where’s the link between cell phones and migraines?

Close to 5,000 young adults (around 20 years old) participated in a study, completing surveys asking about screen time exposure (glow) on devices such as PCs, TV, cell phones, or tablets if they noticed headaches (either migraine or non-migraine) occurring.

Results revealed when screen time increased, so did the odds of experiencing a migraine (without aura). Results showed no connection with non-migraine headaches.

Why is screen time linked to increased migraines?

It’s tough to pinpoint the exact biological link, as it differs for each person.

For some, it could be the blue light from a television or phone screen or the brightness or the shining glow of the light which could be a trigger for a migraine. Even more complex, linking screen time may reduce an overall migraine threshold, therefore, exposure to other migraine triggers could trigger an attack. It’s the vulnerability if you are susceptible to migraines.

Continue reading “Can I get Migraines from my Cell Phone?”

Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines

Want to know 7 other pains worse than childbirth?

As a chronic migraine sufferer who has never given birth, I’m incapable of comparing pain. On a scale of 1-10 (as doctors insist on using), my excruciating pain sometimes exceeds 10+, but, I can envision childbirth close or equal. Let’s face it, any horrible pain is a horrible pain.

7 Horrible Types of Pain (not in particular order)

1.   Toothache

2.   Migraines

3.   Trigeminal Neuralgia

4.   Gout

5.   Serious Burns

6.  Pudendal Neuralgia

7.  Cluster Headaches

I’m only including this image of the ‘pain scale’ similar to what docs have used to measure my chronic migraine pain.  It irritates the crap out of me because, how can you assess your pain accurately on a scale?  When my neuro asks me, he peeks at my chart from the last visit and says “oh, we’re worse than last time“.  Me:  “So doc, any suggestions?“, Doc:  Stunned look, clears throat.

1.  TOOTHACHE Continue reading “Want to know 7 other pains worse than childbirth?”

Posted in chronic pain, exercise, health, migraines

Headaches after Exercising? Tips to avoid

Heads heartbeat:

Avoiding an after-exercise headache

You have a great work-out, then BOOM! – the dreaded after-exercise headache hits. Sometimes it’s right away, sometimes a couple of hours after you’re done exercising.

What’s causing it?

There are a number of things that can cause after exercise headache. If you already suffer from migraine, chances are that your exercise is triggering the migraine chain-reaction. It may be that the symptoms are a little different than what you’re used to – don’t let that throw you off. Chances are, it’s still a migraine.

Continue reading “Headaches after Exercising? Tips to avoid”

Posted in migraines

Which weather changes trigger migraine headaches?

Which weather patterns or changes in weather might trigger your migraine attacks depends on you.

Every person with migraine likely has a unique set of triggers which may include stress, certain foods, alcohol, and other factors. In the same way, some people with migraine are likely sensitive to one weather factor, and others are sensitive to other factors.

An American study found that some people with migraine appear to be sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. Another American study found that higher temperatures increased the number of patients with migraine who went to the Emergency Department with headache. Barometric pressure may be another factor.

One study looked at whether falling barometric pressure seemed to trigger headaches during a time when a typhoon hit Japan. It found that 75% of people with migraine had migraine attacks associated with the drop in barometric pressure while only 20% of people with tension-type headache experienced an attack.

The amount of sunshine may also be a factor. In a study from Austria, sunshine on more than 3 hours a day increased the possibility of a migraine, and a Norwegian study found that migraines were more likely during the long summer days in the Arctic.

Continue reading “Which weather changes trigger migraine headaches?”

Posted in chronic pain, migraines

Migraine or Headache?

Migraine and Headaches are two terms that are sometimes used without knowing which is what! In this article it seems to me really important to make sure that when we say “apple” we do not mean “orange”! Both of the above situations refer to a simple fact: PAIN in our head! Since headache means exactly…

via Migraine or Headache? — Good Medical

Posted in health, migraines

Essential Oils for Headaches

The most common headache treatment is a painkiller, but these pills come with a host of ugly side effects, like kidney and liver damage; plus they don’t deal with the root of the problem.    The Top 4 Essential Oils for Headaches - Dr. Axe:

*I use peppermint oil for migraines and it helps at times, and purchasing a diffuser is also effective (plus your house smells like Christmas!)  Also, I purchased a separate peppermint oil in a roll-on form using it on the back of my neck (can be useful on the forehead by hairline).  This didn’t help at all with my severe migraines.

I found that some grocery stores sell essential oils in their pharmacy product section and are much less expensive than stores set up that sell only oils.  Also, on the internet, there are big savings also.  I purchased the diffusers via Costco.

*To note also, my husband has asthma and finds the eucalyptus oil beneficial in a diffuser.

Have any of these oils benefited you?

Posted in migraines, physical health

Lavender Lemonade Recipe May Get Rid Of Anxiety & Headaches

Lavender oil is a remarkable essential oil that has a great amount of benefit to your health.

It has a gentle and beautiful smell, and its powerful taste makes it a household favorite.  It has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents, which explains its effectiveness at helping with a lot of health ailments.

Some of those properties are the amazing anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifier, hypotensive, and sedative effects it has on our body.

One of the many ways to use lavender oil is to flavor your lemonade with it and get a tasty and healthy drink with multiple medicinal benefits.

This is how to prepare it:

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 12 cups pure water
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 6 lemons, peeled and juiced
  • Lavender sprigs for garnish

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and chill. Add more water or raw honey if needed.

Info source: http://www.sejat-jasmani.com/2016/10/this-lavender-lemonade-recipe-will-get.html

*I’ve never tried this recipe, mainly due to my dislike of lavender!

Posted in chronic pain, migraines

What are ‘Thunderclap’ Headaches

Picture this….You’re relaxing in your favorite chair, or out with friends for coffee or perhaps enjoying a delightful soothing bath, when unexpectedly, BAM!!, you’re struck with this horrendous pain in your head; the worst headache pain you’ve ever felt.  It’s different from a migraine, and termed a “THUNDERCLAP” headache.

During the warmer weather, two years ago, for a couple of hellish months, I’d been lucky to dodge migraines for a few days here and there.  But, no time for celebration, as I was suddenly contending with these sudden ‘BAM!’ headaches as well.  The pain was directed in the middle of my forehead, top of my head and covering my entire face, not a typical migraine for me, which are bilateral. Continue reading “What are ‘Thunderclap’ Headaches”

Posted in health, migraines

Migraine Doc: Was he my “Captain Miracle”?

Isn’t waiting for a specialist (doctor) appointment enough to frost your socks sometimes?

Preparation, tolerance, frustration and waiting are all involved in this entire process.

Firstly, the wait for the family doctor’s appointment and specialist’s referral, followed by a phone call from the specialist’s office, where you now have a scowl on your face due to the clerk informing you that the initial appointment won’t be for at least six months.

I’m uncertain about you, but when the secretary calls, a pen is rarely handy to write down information or directions on how to get to the appointment. Ending the conversation they say “we’ll be sending you some written instructions in the mail also.”

The written instructions arrive, however, they are terribly confusing. Illegible pages photocopied at least 100 times over, you will feel doubtful walking into the hospital with this crappy information, for fear of ending up in the laundry area. As for the road directions, best to utilize your own maps.

Now the wait for the specialist appointment, followed by the big day of the actual appointment…and then wait is on. Where you wait in the waiting room….and wait….and wait…and wait some more……

You recognize you are in a dilemma when, after driving two hours and upon arriving, the receptionist slides open her plexi-glass window, takes your name, shuffles through files twice mumbling, “Were you scheduled for an appointment today?”. “Yes, at 11:00 a.m.”, “Hmmm…How do you spell your last name again?” “OK, just have a seat and we’ll be right with you”. A commotion develops by the filing cabinets, receptionists are in a huddle, peer up at you, once, twice, when suddenly, “yes, you are booked for 11:00 a.m., but he is backed up a bit”. Continue reading “Migraine Doc: Was he my “Captain Miracle”?”

Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines

16 Things People With Chronic Pain Want You To Know

 :

It’s not just in our head. The pain is there and always would be even if there is no apparent reason for it. Our pain is real and will not just go away after we take some pills for a week or two. It would always be there and we have learned to live with it. Here are 16 more things we wish you knew about us!

1. We Don’t Make a Mountain out of a Molehill

You think you can imagine our pain? Now multiply that amount by 10. No matter how sympathetic you are, studies have proved that people tend to underestimate other people’s pain. Chronic pain by default is hard to imagine unless you have experienced it in your life. It’s invisible, but it is always there. We urge health care not out of hypochondria or the need for attention, but because of our severe physical state.

2. We Need to Balance Actions Carefully

We use the Spoon Theory.  We have a limited amount of spoons each day we could use for different actions. Getting up, getting dressed, taking a shower, driving, walking, picking up the phone — each action requires us to use one of our precious spoons. On good days, we finish with a few spoons left so we can do something fun. On bad days, we borrow spoons from the next day and need extra recovery afterward. So if we suddenly cancel our plans with you or tell we can’t do it now — it’s just because we ran out of spoons today. Try to understand this.

Continue reading “16 Things People With Chronic Pain Want You To Know”

Posted in health, migraines

Migraine Relief? ‘Daith piercing’ is becoming popular for migraine and headache relief.

living in stigma

I’ve included two articles on the subject of ‘Daith Piercing’, a positive and negative. Personally, I have never heard of this procedure before now, however, upon reading these articles, I’ve decided this wouldn’t be for me.

fourstateshomepage – by Kheslleen Dimanche ~ According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are an extraordinarily common disease that affects 38 million people in the United States. After several people posted their social media accounts that daith piercing has brought them relief, others are jumping for the fix.

“I’ve had a constant migraine for two and half to three years, and I heard it helps,” said Jenny Wagner, received daith piercing.

Wagner says since struggling with migraines, she and her mother felt piercing the daith was worth a try.

“Spending over a thousand dollars a month on doctors and then spending $40 on a piercing is way better,” said Wagner. She says prior to getting…

View original post 265 more words

Posted in child abuse, migraines, PTSD

Childhood trauma may raise the risk of migraines

Image result for childhood abuse migraines:

Study found witnessing parental domestic violence produced most powerful association

Experiencing a traumatic event during childhood may raise the risk for migraines as an adult, new Canadian research suggests.

“We found the more types of violence the individual had been exposed to during their childhood, the greater the odds of migraine,” study author Sarah Brennenstuhl, from the University of Toronto, said in a university news release.

“For those who reported all three types of adversities — [witnessing] parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse — the odds of migraine were a little over three times higher for men and just under three times higher for women,” Brennenstuhl said.

The findings were reported online recently in the journal Headache. To reach their conclusions, researchers looked at data from a mental health survey involving nearly 23,000 men and women over the age of 18.

“The most surprising finding was the link between exposure to parental domestic violence and migraines,” study co-author Esme Fuller-Thomson, a professor and chair at University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, said in the news release.

Girls who had witnessed parental domestic violence grew up to be women with a 64 percent greater risk for migraines, compared with those with no such history. For men, the bump in risk amounted to 52 percent, the investigators found.

And the team noted this association held up even after taking into account a wide range of influential factors, such as age, race, a history of depression or anxiety, and any history of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse.

However, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between childhood trauma and migraine risk.

Source from HealthDay.com:

More information: Visit the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for more on migraines.

SOURCE: University of Toronto, news release, June 24, 2015