Chronic Migraine Warrior

Chronic Migraine Warrior
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

NHF Regional Conference - Part IV

Dr. Tim Clark

Dr. Tim Clark is the program director for interdisciplinary services for the Baylor Center for Pain Management in Dallas.

Migraine is a Chronic Disease
  • Examples of other chronic diseases: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fibromyalgia, arthritis, asthma
  • It's there even when you're not having a headache

Knowledge is power
  • What you think (your perception) matters
  • Identify, manage, avoid triggers
  • Take medications as directed
  • Talk with your doctor (it's important to establish empathy and trust between patient and healthcare provider)

- Being exposed to more at one time makes you more vulnerable for a "perfect storm" / migraine attack

Pain is the 5th vital sign
  • There's no way to objectively measure pain
  • You have to record it and communicate it with your doctor

Ways to Improve Chances for Successful Headache Management:
  • Diaries
  • Managing pain is the primary goal
  • Discuss goals/expectations with doctor
  • Find support
  • Doing several positive things at a time often leads to greater effects
  • 3 P's of long-term success -
    • Persistence
    • Patience
    • Positive attitude

Physical Therapies
  • Acupuncture
    • Have to give it a fair chance - 2 x's per week for 10 sessions, 1 week off, then 10 more sessions (sessions ~30 minutes each)
  • Exercise
  • Massage
  • Chiropractic

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies
  • Biofeedback
  • Training body in relaxation techniques (must practice regularly)

Relaxation Therapies
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Autogenics
  • Meditation or passive relaxation
  • Hypnosis
  • Abdominal breathing
  • Mindfulness meditation

Treat Comorbidities
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Chronic dysfunctional coping skills
  • etc...

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