Reader’s Mail: Complex Headache Picture Requires a Headache Specialist

Q. My father has a variety of medical conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. He has severe headaches almost every day. His doctors continue to prescribe more and more medications, which are not working. He has had every test imaginable to rule out any serious medical issue that may be causing the headaches. He has tried acupuncture and Botox, which provide minor temporary relief.

I have read many articles on oxygen offering relief for chronic headache pain. For some reason, none of his many doctors are willing to even attempt this therapy. They just continue to prescribe more medications and, as you can imagine, he is using many medications already. Do you have any recommendations on how to convince any of his doctors to try oxygen treatments?

My father’s headaches are completely debilitating. He often can’t even hold his head up. Continue Reading

Biofeedback Shows Promise for Children with Headache

Children who frequently suffer from headache may benefit from biofeedback therapy, which a recent study showed decreased pain and headache frequency.

Biofeedback is a technique in which people attempt to control some bodily processes that normally occur involuntarily, such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension and skin temperature.  For this study, researchers evaluated 132 youth, ages 8 to 18, who attended two or more biofeedback sessions between 2004 and 2008; the median number of sessions was seven. Between the first and last visit, headache frequency dropped from 3.5 to 2 headache days per month, and the median severity of pain decreased from 6.5 to 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. Continue Reading

Reader’s Mail: Any Other Options for Chronic Headache?

Q. I am a frequent migraine sufferer and have had no luck in finding a treatment that works for me. I’ve had massage therapy, acupuncture, and been to my primary care doctor and a neurologist. I’ve been on a daily preventive (Topamax®), which did nothing for the headaches, but did make me sick! I now take Maxalt® when I feel a bad migraine coming on, but it doesn’t work as well as it did when I first started taking it. Is there something else I can try? I’m ready to bang my head against a wall! Continue Reading