If you’ve ever dealt with migraines before, you know how frustrating they can be. Worse than your standard headache, migraines bring throbbing pain, nausea and even visual problems. People with chronic headaches experience these painful symptoms several times a month, making them a disturbance to daily life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce pain and achieve relief. Let’s explore what chronic migraines are, methods for managing pain and how our headache specialists in Chicago can help you.

What Are Chronic Migraines?

Before we examine treatment options, it’s important to understand what migraines are and how they differ from headaches. Unlike a typical headache, migraines affect your brain. This results in the following symptoms:

  • Severe, pounding pain that affects concentration
  • Pain that worsens with activities
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light and sounds
  • Partial blindness
  • Difficulty speaking

While some people experience migraines occasionally, others have chronic migraines (or migraines that occur at least 15 times a month). When left untreated, migraines make it difficult to concentrate on work or school, complete household chores and even attend social events. To prevent migraines from disrupting your life, it’s important to seek treatment.

How Can I Reduce Migraine Pain?

Looking for ways to reduce the frequency and pain of your migraines? Here are some top strategies:

  • Practice healthy lifestyle habits: Staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly are helpful ways to reduce headaches.
  • Eat a balanced diet: A healthy, balanced diet reduces the likelihood of migraines by keeping your blood sugar levels stable. Try to eat foods rich in magnesium (such as leafy greens, nuts and seeds), as magnesium deficiencies can worsen pain.
  • Practice mindfulness exercises: Exercises like yoga, deep breathing and meditation promote mindfulness and reduce stress.
  • Apply hold and cold compresses: Applying a cold pack or a hot compress may help alleviate pain.
  • Use essential oils: Essential oils, such as lavender and peppermint oils, may reduce stress and pain.
  • Find a restful environment: During a migraine episode, find a restful environment that minimizes light and noise. Residing in a dark, quiet room can help with many migraine symptoms.

For minor cases, these strategies may be enough to reduce and manage pain. More serious cases, on the other hand, often require stronger treatment.

What Are Professional Treatments for Chronic Migraines?

If lifestyle changes aren’t alleviating your pain, our team can help. At MAPS Centers for Pain Control, we specialize in non-surgical, minimally invasive pain relief solutions. Our chronic migraine treatments include the following:

  • Botox injections: Botox is often associated with cosmetic procedures. However, its effects can also be used for migraines. When injected into the muscles around the face and neck, Botox blocks neurotransmitters that carry pain signals.
  • Medication management: Medication can reduce migraine and headache pain—provided its used correctly. After considering your symptoms and health history, we can determine which medication and dosage is best for you.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy uses a combination of exercises, stretches and manual therapy to lower pain levels. At MAPS, our experienced physical therapists work with physicians to develop comprehensive treatment plans centered around your health. These plans may also include mindfulness techniques, such as meditation.
  • Cryoneurolysis: Cryoneurolysis is an innovative, non-drug therapy that uses freezing cold temperatures to block pain signals sent by the occipital and upper cervical nerves.

Our treatments are managed by double-board certified, fellowship-trained physicians who are highly experienced in treating chronic migraines. When you work with us, you can trust us to find long-term solutions based on your needs.

Discover the Best Migraine Doctors in Chicago Today!

Nobody deserves to suffer through chronic pain and migraines. At MAPS, we are dedicated to supporting and advocating for patients who need relief. We’ll start by learning more about your unique condition, including the frequency of your migraines and pain levels. Then, we’ll craft a custom plan that combines our minimally invasive therapies with exercises and lifestyle habits. Our ultimate goal is to deliver long-term relief and help you achieve a healthy, pain-free life. Schedule an appointment today to learn more!