What are Migraines?

Migraines are a neurological condition that usually presents as severe headaches, often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea and light sensitivity. These headaches can last anywhere from a few hours to several days, making it challenging to perform daily activities and affecting the overall quality of life.

Woman sitting on a couch with her hands on her head in pain

What are the Common Causes of Migraines?

Migraine triggers vary per individual, and multiple factors may contribute to the onset of migraines. Common causes of migraines can include hormonal changes, stress, dietary factors, sleep disturbances, alcohol or caffeine intake, environmental and weather changes, medications, and underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure or depression.

Symptoms of Migraines

Symptoms of migraines can differ from person to person, depending on the severity and stage of the migraine. Some common symptoms include:

  • Intense headaches: headaches usually on one side of the head, throbbing or pulsing, and lasting up to 72 hours.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and dizziness: these can accompany the headache or may occur on their own.
  • Sound and light sensitivity: loud noises or flashing lights can make the migraine worse.
  • Visual disturbances: some individuals with migraines can experience auras, which are disturbances in the visual field such as flashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots.
  • Tingling in the arms and face: some migraine sufferers experience tingling, commonly in the arms and face. 

How are Migraines Diagnosed?

A detailed examination from a qualified medical expert is crucial to properly diagnose migraines. Your doctor will perform a thorough medical evaluation, take your medical history, and perform a series of tests to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms. These tests can include:

  • Physical and neurological examination
  • Blood tests
  • Imaging studies such as CT or MRI scans
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What are the Treatments for Migraines?

Medications: Your doctor may prescribe medications to help relieve the pain associated with migraines, including pain relievers, triptans, and preventive medication. These can be taken as oral tablets, injections, or nasal sprays.

Botox Injections

Botox injections are commonly used to treat migraines. Botox is injected into the muscles of the forehead, neck, and shoulders to prevent muscle contraction which triggers migraines.

Nerve Blocks

Nerve blocks are injections that can be administered to provide temporary relief from migraines. Anesthetic medications are injected into the nerves around the head and neck to ease pain symptoms.

Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes such as managing stress levels, sleeping enough, eating a proper diet, and avoiding triggers can help prevent migraines.

When is Surgery the Best Option for Migraines?

Surgery for migraines is generally only considered once all non-surgical options have been exhausted. If you are experiencing chronic migraines, you may be a candidate for surgical treatment. Surgery for migraines may involve the decompression of the nerves that are being compressed or irritated.
At Atlas Institute Peripheral Nerve Care, we offer several options for nerve surgeries for migraines in Denver, including:

  • Occipital migraine surgery: Occipital migraine surgery is the most common type of migraine surgery. The procedure involves decompressing the greater occipital nerve, which is thought to be involved in migraines that originate at the back of the head. 
  • Temporal migraine surgery: Temporal Migraine Surgery is a similar procedure where the temporal nerve is decompressed. 
  • Frontal migraine surgery: Surgical treatment for frontal migraines involves decompression of the supraorbital nerve.
  • Nummular migraine surgery: Nummular migraine surgery involves decompressing the occipital nerve to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with circular or coin-shaped areas of pain at the back of the head.

During these procedures, an experienced surgeon decompresses specific nerves thought to be involved in migraine headaches.

Snow covered trees

Why Choose Atlas Institute Peripheral Care?

In conclusion, migraines can be debilitating and significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. At Atlas Institute Peripheral Nerve Care, we offer diverse treatment options, from non-invasive remedies to surgical procedures that aim to reduce the severity and frequency of migraines. We carefully evaluate each patient on a case-by-case basis to determine the most efficient and effective treatment plan. We understand the significant impact migraines can have on your life, and we strive to provide relief and support to help you regain control. You don't have to suffer in silence, contact us and schedule an appointment today.

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