- I have been suffering from severe headaches for most of my life. Is there any hope for me??There are many different types of treatments available. The chances that your headaches can be controlled are very high. If you haven’t seen a headache specialist recently, you should see one, especially someone who understands both Western and Eastern approaches to headache treatment.
- I have tried a lot of different medications and they don’t seem to work for me. What should I do?The first thing you should do is to make sure that the medications were tried appropriately. Sometimes we give up on medications too easily. Sometimes the medications are not taken in the appropriate doses and for an appropriate length of time. For eg, if you took Topiramate 25 mg dose and only took it for 2 weeks or less, and it didn’t work, then you did not take it properly. The dose needs to be increased slowly, and you have to take it for at least a few weeks before you can say whether it worked or not.
- I have seen a headache specialist and I have taken many drugs at the appropriate doses and for sufficiently long period of time. What should I do now?You need to consider alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, yoga, ayurvedic medicine, homeopathy, stress management, nutritional approaches and lifestyle changes.
- I have heard that oxygen is a treatment for headaches. Is that true?100% oxygen is an effective treatment for Cluster headaches only, and it works in 70% of cases. It is not an effective treatment for any other types of headaches.
- My pain medication works great but I get headaches almost 3-4 times a week. Am I taking too much medication?If you are taking acute pain medication more than twice a week, you run the risk of developing a condition called medication overuse headache (MOH), which is also known as rebound headaches. This is where taking too much medication can actually CAUSE your headache. The medication works well in treating the pain, but the headache comes back more frequently, setting up a vicious cycle, where you have to take more and more medication.
- I can understand that if I am taking too much over the counter (OTC) medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, I can get rebound headaches. But I am taking a prescription medicine, prescribed by my doctor and I am taking it as prescribed. So I should be safe from developing rebound headaches, right?Not necessarily. Unfortunately, many doctors are prescribing acute pain medications such as narcotics or combination drugs for chronic headaches, and these medications, if taken too frequently, ie more than 2-3 times a week, they can also cause MOH, just like the OTC medications.
- I tried acupuncture once and it didn’t work. Should I try it again?Yes. First of all, you may not get relief from acupuncture on the first try. You have to try at least 4-5 times before you can say whether it worked or not. Secondly, you need to see an acupuncturist who specializes in headache before you give up on it.