Interventional Management of Headache

shutterstock_115861600It is estimated that 47% of the adult population suffered with headache at least once during the last year. While many headache sufferers manage headaches effectively with over-the-counter medications others seek the help of a physician, often a neurologist. Those that seek medical advice usually do so because of a combination of: lack of response to over-the-counter medications, severity of headache and frequency of headache.

Who can benefit from Interventional Headache Management?

Nearly 20% of headache patients are suffering from “medically resistant” headaches, which by definition do not respond to available medications. It is that portion of the headache suffering population who can greatly benefit from the interventional management of headache.

What is Interventional Headache Management?

Interventional headache management involves the use of various precision nerve blocking techniques and/or implanted nerve stimulating devices to reduce the intensity and/or frequency of debilitating headaches. Most of these pain relieving procedures are performed utilizing either x-ray or ultrasound guidance for optimal effectiveness and safety.

How does Interventional Headache Management work?

There is no simple answer to this question. In some cases we appear to be blocking a control center for headache. In other cases, by decreasing painful signals from one part of the face, we appear to be “resetting” the system. In yet other cases we are reducing the pain for an interval that enables a patient to reduce or eliminate the frequent use of pain relievers known to cause rebound or medication over-use headache.

A subset of medically resistant headache particularly responsive to interventional management is cervicogenic headache. This is a type of headache that stems from problems in the upper part of the neck but because of a complex connection in the brain can cause headache in areas remote from the neck.

Do I need to stop treating with my neurologist to receive Interventional Headache Treatment?

Absolutely NOT. In fact, this type of headache treatment works best in conjunction with the treatment of a neurologist who manages the drug treatment.

If you suffer with headache that has been resistant to treatment, we encourage you to call our office at 973-796-5216 and arrange a consultation.

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