Published November 6, 2017 By Adam Lowenstein

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 many different migraine remedies and there has been no one constant thing that improves migraine pain for everyone. From the various different types of migraine medications to the manipulations of physical therapy and chiropractic maneuvers to less conventional options such as daith piercings and acupuncture, different things work for different people. The bigger problem with migraine headaches is that for many many migraine patients, none of these migraine remedies work at all. For many other migraine patients, the drugs that do work have such severe side effects that they are effectively not usable.

And this is where migraine headache surgery comes in. Migraine surgery is most often utilized for patients who have tried a gamut of other migraine remedies, and yet have had no luck in curing their migraine. Some patients have found various things that can help improve their migraines but not enough to make a significant difference in their quality of life. Other patients who have found drugs that can relieve their pain but create too many secondary side effects also choose to have migraine surgery.

Migraine surgery is based on the scientific observation that many migraine headaches are caused by compression and inflammation of some of the nerves in the face and neck. This breakthrough discovery has allowed the development of surgical procedures that relieve pressure on these inflamed nerves, thus preventing them from sending distress signals to the brain. We now know that it is these distress signals that cause many migraine headaches. Now it is important to note that not all migraine headaches are caused by nerve compression. Some migraines are caused by disease processes that are in the brain itself, such as tumors or vascular malformations. Some migraines can be caused by organic diseases or even things such as dehydration. But many migraines, we find are actually triggered by these nerves that we now understand how to address.

The brain is a very complex organ, with many functions, many regions, and many connections between different areas. These connections are called neural pathways. An irritation or signal to one part of the brain can cause significant responses from another part. Case in point… Have you ever come across a smell that made you remember an experience from long ago? The neural pathways between the scent signals and the memory regions of the brain are what allow this to happen. But what if you never came across that smell- would that memory be triggered at that time? Probably not.

What we are doing with migraine surgery is preventing the signal from the inflamed nerve from reaching the brain and therefore preventing that signal from activating the neural pathway to the pain centers in the brain. By decompressing the inflamed nerve, we are in effect doing the same thing as if we prevented the smell from triggering the neural pathway to the memory… we are preventing the memory, or in this case the pain, from ever happening in the first place.

On our website, we have a lot more detailed information on migraine surgery and the surgical, medical, and alternative ways of getting rid of a migraine. Please use our links to browse through and gain a better understanding of how migraine surgery works and the process of screening to see if you are a candidate for migraine surgery. There is a lot of information about nerve blocks, nerve injections, and the use of Botox as an alternative to migraine surgery as well. We want as many people as possible to understand what causes migraines, and we want to provide as much migraine support as possible to patients who suffer.

For those that don’t know, I have been getting migraine headaches myself since I was a teenager, and you can learn about my experiences on our website as well. (Here is a preview… no fun to have a migraine in the middle of performing a liver transplant.) At Migraine Surgery Specialty Center, my goal is to support as many migraine patients as possible in directing them toward the best modality of migraine relief available. I understand because I am one these sufferers myself. I endured occipital neuralgia and migraines through college, medical school, and my 7 years of postgraduate surgical training. It was not until I met my wife who shared a triptan tablet with me that anything ever improved my pain. As this was long before migraine surgery existed, I understand what it is like to be in a a situation where it seems that there is no hope to be pain free.

And so back to our original question, how do you get rid of a migraine? There may be other options but work, but for many migraine headache patients the answer is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Decompression of the problematic nerves prevents distress signals from these nerves from ever being created, and therefore the trigger event to produce a migraine never occurs in the first place. Learn as much as you can about migraine remedies and migraine support and all of the options available to you in this advanced age of migraine relief.

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