This book is written specifically for those who suffer from migraines and other serious headaches, providing specific information regarding types, symptoms and current treatments. The occasional use of case histories personalizes the disorder, offering insights into the debilitating pain of headache and migraine sufferers.
Addressing the most important and proactive element of successful treatment, “Your Health Care Team and Treatment Regimen” Part Two defines the patient’s responsibility in selecting the right doctor, asking the right questions and remaining informed about new treatments. Combining positive reinforcement and patient anecdotes when discussing headache triggers and stress controls, the author also suggests that the patient maintain rigorous attention to diet and daily exercise, both critical factors when seeking to alleviate constantly recurring headaches.
A comprehensive list of medications used for various types of headaches is included, as well as a short discussion of Botox, which has proved to be quite effective for some patients. Another chapter is devoted to the triptans, specific medications (like Imitrex) that work to abort the migraine, “selective serotonin receptor agonists.” Such medications are a light at the end of the tunnel for those who have been restricted to pain medications and the rebound headaches that occur from the use of such pain relievers, providing both physiological and psychological relief; however, triptans must be carefully monitored and their effectiveness may be mitigated by accelerated blood pressure.
“Emergency Care and Pain Management” speaks to the occasional need for a visit to an Emergency Room and a form your pain management physician can fill out and you can keep on hand. This form confirms the diagnosis, the patient’s regular treatment and suggested emergency room treatment, helpful in avoiding the suspicion of drug seeking behavior that is a common problem for ER staff.
Not every headache-related issue is covered in this volume, but there is enough resource material provided to prepare the patient with relevant questions, a checklist for the physician making the diagnosis and determining treatment. The author is not a physician but offers a thorough compendium of categories, symptoms, particularities and treatments, an essential guide through the confusing jargon and relevant details for an accurate diagnosis.
A glossary, frequently asked questions, recommended reading and various appendixes complete the text. This book is a valuable resource for the individual who is looking for basic information about treatment and diagnosis of chronic headaches. At the very least, the patient will be more knowledgeable and able to help the physician treat the problem as successfully as possible.