Life Is Good—Even With Migraine!

Why your chances of getting rid of migraine pain are better than ever.

Health Monitor Staff
More Sharing +

Going to a movie with friends. Taking a walk in the park. A dinner date. If you’ve been living with migraine, you’ve probably had to cancel activities like these more than once—but no more! “Treatment options are better than ever,” says Pam Santamaria, MD, a neurologist at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. “Whether you’re trying to prevent your migraines or treating them as they happen, there’s no need to suffer.”

Just ask 43-year-old Jane Messina of North Scottsdale, AZ. A few years ago, Jane had to take a leave of absence from her job as a legal assistant because constant migraine headaches were forcing her to stay locked in her bedroom with the shades drawn for days each and every week. Then her doctor told her about new preventive treatments. “Now I have headaches only once a month!” Jane says. “I’m able to work again—it gave me my life back!”

New avenues to relief
Whether you suffer from episodic migraines (the kind that occur on fewer than 15 days per month) or Chronic Migraine (which strike at least 15 days per month, each lasting four hours or more, for at least three months), partnering with your healthcare provider like Jane did is key. It’s the best way to find out about new treatments and take advantage of the latest learning.

For the first time in more than a decade, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) published guidelines in 2012 on the prevention of migraines, identifying nearly a dozen effective medications and complementary treatments.

What’s more, nearly 50% of patients could benefit from such preventive therapies, says Stephen D. Silberstein, MD, professor of neurology and director of the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

Experts also now have a deeper understanding of what triggers migraines and how to find faster relief. A pivotal finding: Treating a migraine quickly helps the medication work better.

What you can do about migraine
If you’re one of the nearly 30 million Americans who suffer from migraine, it’s time to take a stand. Start by learning about your headaches—what type you have and what triggers them—and exploring your options, whether you’re preventing or treating as they happen. “You don’t have to live with the constant pain,” Jane says. “There are so many options now—something will work for you!”

January 2014