Did Your Favorite Migraine Medicine Just Get Recalled?

For those who suffer migraines, management is the name of the game. The recent, temporary halt in the production of Excedrin Migraine and Excedrin Extra Strength by GlaxoSmithKline just made that a little more difficult. Here, we discuss why this recall happened and how it may have the silver lining of prompting you to find…

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Dizziness and Migraine Head “aches”

Dizziness is often a symptom of migraines and occipital neuralgia, and can be seen both with and without associated pain.  Because balance and dizziness are managed by a region of the inner ear called the vestibule, migraines that manifest in dizziness alone are termed “vestibular migraines”.  Similar to “ocular migraines”, these episodes can manifest as…

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Occipital Neuralgia vs. Migraine Headache

Today on Facebook I got a great question that I think is important….  “Are ON flares also called migraines?” In fact the word “migraine” has a broad meaning, including many different kinds of severe headaches with different causes.  Some migraines are caused by issues in or near the brain, such as dilated blood vessels or…

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Health insurance and migraine surgery costs

As you might expect, one of the most common questions that we get at Migraine Surgery Specialty Center is regarding the issues surrounding health insurance and costs for the procedure.  On social media, this is also one of the most questioned aspects of our care, and it is not unusual to get a comment such…

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Headache Surgery and Occipital Neuralgia Surgery for Los Angeles

With traffic like this it’s no wonder so many patients from Los Angeles suffer from migraine headaches.  While several medical centers in and around the Los Angeles area treat patients with migraine headaches and occipital neuralgia, Dr. Lowenstein dedicates a significant part of his practice to the surgical treatment of these headaches and associated symptoms.…

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Not all “nerve blocks” for migraine headache pain are the same

During the course of a great telephone conversation with a migraine headache patient from San Diego last week, it once again became evident to me that there is a misunderstanding of the differences in nerve blocks and Botox injections done by surgeons vs other medical professionals when it comes to the treatment of Migraine Headaches and…

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Global Oxycontin – an opioid disaster for the rest of the world

This article by the LA times investigates the efforts of the Sackler family (the owners of Purdue Pharma and makers of Oxycontin,) to open up world markets to the drug that has been one of the principal keystones in America’s opioid crisis.  “In Brazil, China and elsewhere, the companies are running training seminars where doctors are…

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Why is a workup important?

We have many patients with migraine headaches who see an opportunity for a surgical cure for their pain and want to proceed immediately to surgery at Migraine Surgery Specialty Center without any other workup- this is a mistake.  Every patient who has surgery for their migraines needs a neurology workup including an MRI of the…

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Migraine Headaches in San Diego?

As you can see from the photo above I took in San Diego this weekend, Coronado is quite a beautiful spot.  Sometimes when visiting such a wonderful place it can be hard to believe that there are folks suffering even close by. Importantly, you can have a migraine in Coronado, or in any relative paradise. …

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Air Quality, Smoke, and Migraine Headaches

Recently I’ve been posting “Triggers of the week” on Instagram, discussing different triggers that cause patients to have migraine headaches.  There has been a lot of responses to these posts, with patients chiming in that “even if foods are cooked with wine. Within minutes my head reacts,” or “BRIGHT lights – flashing or not flashing…

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Migraine Headache Severity

Recently one of the Facebook groups for migraine headaches and occipital neuralgia contained and interesting post.  A migraine headache patient began by saying that she did not mean to insult anyone, but she could not understand how some migraine headache sufferers could have severe pain and still go about their lives.  She alluded that such…

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What to do with a normal MRI? BE HAPPY!

On social media, I’m seeing a lot of panic on multiple group sites in patients who have a normal MRI results in the face of pain symptoms.  It is important to remember that many patients with Migraine and most patients with Occipital Neuralgia have NORMAL MRI STUDIES.  This should be taken as good news, since…

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John Oliver’s coverage of our opioid crisis in America

John Oliver does a great piece on the overuse of opioid pain killers- an epidemic that is causing incredible morbidity and mortality in the United States. Patients with chronic headaches are often prescribed these pain killers when nothing else works, and opioid addiction can become a major problem for headache patients. The potential for surgery…

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Looking for suggestions… How do we get the word out?

Yesterday I saw yet another migraine headache patient who was a week out from her migraine surgery, and yet again this patient was thrilled with the migraine relief.  She told me she felt that the migraine surgery changed her life.  She was all smiles in the followup appointment, as opposed to completely dreary when I…

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Thoroughness in Surgical Technique

Thoroughness in surgical technique can make the difference in a successful nerve decompression operation. (Why the tree photo? Read on….) Earlier this week we saw a woman with over 20 years of headache pain from occipital neuralgia who had been operated on previously by another surgeon. She reports that her surgery was unsuccessful. The surgeon…

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How do you get rid of a migraine?

Migraine headaches can be unpredictable and difficult to manage. For those of us who are familiar with migraines, this is an understatement. Established migraine headache patients can discuss at incredible length the various things that they have tried to get rid of a migraine, and the difficult thing is that there are so so so…

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The use of Botox for Headaches

Botox is being increasingly used for off-label treatments, particularly in the treatment of migraine headaches and occipital neuralgia like we do at Migraine Surgery Specialty Center. This is a nice little video from the Plastic Surgery Channel that discusses some off-label uses of Botox.But what does “off label” mean? When something like Botox is “approved” by…

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The Differences Between Migraine Surgery and a Nerve Simulator

Recently I have found a lot of confusion between migraine surgery and nerve stimulator placement. When discussing surgery with patients or answering their questions online, it seems clear that some patients think they have had migraine surgery but describe the placement of wires and the use of remotes… none of this is used in migraine…

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A discussion on incisions for decompression of the occipital nerves

In the course of my aesthetic plastic surgery practice, many patients are of course interested and concerned about where the incisions will be placed for their surgery.  With migraine headache and neuralgia patients, however, there is more interest surrounding pain relief than incision sites.  That said, I have seen several revisions of migraine surgery necessary from…

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Just an inspirational story

A lot of headache patients deal with pain and difficulty on a day to day basis.  On occasion I think it’s important to reflect on the good and the inspirational to get our mind right and realize that no matter how hard life may seem, there are fantastic stories that can be uplifting.  So… periodically you…

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Everyone is different, even when they are the same

In my perusing around Facebook and the forums dedicated to headaches and occipital neuralgia, I see so many who find comfort that they are not alone, and in fact one of my previous posts highlighted that even NBA basketball stars get migraines.  Patients who have suffered long and felt alone should find comfort in the fact…

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Dr. Lowenstein featured on “The Beauty and the Surgeon”

I recently had the honor of being asked to do a podcast with well known Board Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jason Martin. Dr. Martin has a podcast called Beauty and the Surgeon which discusses all aspects of plastic and reconstructive surgery. I’ve known Dr. Martin for quite some time, dating back to when I was…

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Rocky Mountain Migraine Headache

This week I’m spending time in Colorado with my family and as usual, dealing with a migraine on arrival to altitude.  Altitude headaches are not uncommon for both migraine headache patients as well as those who don’t suffer from migraines.  There are 2 main issues that our heads need to deal with at altitude- oxygen…

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Do what works, but no single migraine cure is for everyone

I recently saw a post on our FaceBook page that disparaged migraine surgery because all migraines could be cured by a diet with some catchy name. While it never feels great to have my hard work attacked by someone who doesn’t have an in-depth knowledge of what I do, I decided not to hide the…

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Headache 360 Podcast: Migraine Surgery

Speaker 1: Welcome to Headache 360 podcast, a place to listen and learn about the diagnosis and treatment of chronic headache and migraine pain, because information can be the best medicine. Dr. Lowenstein: Hello and welcome to the Headache 360 podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Adam Lowenstein. Today we’re going to talk about migraine surgery.…

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Headache 360 Podcast: Procedures for Migraines and Headaches

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Headache 360 Podcast. A place to listen and learn about the diagnosis and treatment of chronic headache and migraine pain, because information can be the best medicine. Dr. Lowenstein: Hello, and welcome to the Headache 360 Podcast. I am your host, Dr. Adam Lowenstein, and today we are again, speaking…

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Headache 360 – The Headache Neurologist on the Cutting Edge

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Headache 360 Podcast, a place to learn about the diagnosis and treatment of chronic headache and migraine pain, because information can be the best medicine. Dr. Lowenstein: Hello and welcome to our next episode of the Headache 360 Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Adam Lowenstein. I have a very special…

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Having a migraine- a Doctor’s Perspective

My mother tells a story about me when I was 9 and had a headache so bad I would not stop crying and would not leave my room.  I don’t remember that, but I know that I have had severe headaches as long as I can remember.  As a child, I took so much aspirin…

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Headache surgery is NOT experimental surgery

Because of the relatively new ability for surgeons such as myself to impact migraine headaches and occipital neuralgia with outpatient surgery, we often get the question of whether nerve decompression for headache surgery is “experimental surgery.”  Let me assure you that this is not the case.  While scientific descriptions of success rates can be found…

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