Massage For Your Migraines?

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For Some Migraineurs, Special Head and Neck Massages Help (1)

For all the research being done with electrical stimulation of nerves, surgeries to potent medications and herbs, for some migraineurs the answer to their misery could come from the unassuming massage. But this by no means is a regular spa massage. Conducted by migraine specialists the massage targets certain places and obstructions to relieve pain and reduce attack incidences. In other words, the migraineurs neither puts up with the horrible side-effects of hand-me-down drugs originally aimed at treating other conditions, nor does she have to go on impractical diets.

A Bay Area physical therapist, Sheldon Low has discovered a massage method that is not currently popular as a migraine treatment and management technique among other doctors. He has worked on some chronic migraineurs and those who experienced the migraine trauma since their teens with amazing results.

A therapist for 35 years, Low worked on patient Zoe Soane who had been migraining since she was only 13 and lived life less than optimally because of the recurrent attacks that left her exhausted with pain and dizziness and rattled. Simple things like motion, computer screen glare, sunshine or strong winds worked as triggers for her. Though Soane was referred to for neck issue but Dr. Low found her a massage technique that worked for her!

As per Dr. Low, “It’s my theory, and my experience that taking pressure off the scalp nerves, that’s taking away the impingement and causative agent of the headaches. I’m actually working into that scar tissue trying to break it down. It’s almost like controlled shearing. If you’re peeling an orange and trying to play that game to keep the orange peel together and you’re trying to work it around so you’re not breaking the peel apart.” (2)

The therapist says he look for lumps or bumps in the head and neck areas. If he finds them sensitive then he knows what he has to work on. He goes by common sense and knowledge that any lumps in that area are not normal and neither skull nor any other bone. Some times these lumps have formed as a part of body’s inflammatory response to a fall or injury that happened in childhood which has hardened over a period of time causing trouble and blockages now.

Soane’s migraine episodes have diminished in number and in intensity. This treatment could be transferred to other migraineurs as well or so believes Dr. Marc Lenaerts, a fellow of the American Headache Society who also runs the headache clinic at UC Davis Medical Center, “Freeing inflammatory fluids, and humors and freeing the adhesions between the tissues is a very important point and worthwhile looking into. Probably not enough people practicing and doing it on a regular basis. Conclusion is we need more scientific evidence, but it’s encouraging and worthwhile going further.” (2)

SOURCES

  1. Image credit: Massage, flower, spa, gels – Photostock; freedigitalphotos.net; Web February 2015; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Healthy_Living_g284-Massageflowerspa_Gels_p37679.html
  2. Migraine Cure Could Be A Massage Away; CBS Sacramento; Web February 2015; http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2015/02/04/migraine-cure-could-be-a-massage-away/

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Defective Nerve Insulation In Migraineurs: Study

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Myelin Sheath & Cellular Elements Over Axons of Nerve Cells Are Patchy Or Missing In Migraineurs (1)

A study conducted by a team of researchers from three different departments at Case Western School of Medicine, clearly exhibits that certain changes at the cellular-level of the nerve structure of migraineurs leads to migraines in many patients. This in turn brings about functional changes of the nerves and further contributes to painful migraine episodes.

The findings of the study were published in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. You can read the report by clicking on the link below (2)

Myelin is an electricity insulating material that forms a layer/sheath which surrounds the axon of a nerve cell/neuron. The detailed study of miniscule specimens of the trigeminal nerves of migraineurs showed that there were abnormalities in the myelin sheath that served as insulation around nerve fibres in the trigeminal nerves.

Another group of patients that had been evaluated and found eligible and thus had opted for plastic surgery as a route to treat their migraine was also studied. They had all undergone the forehead lift procedure, which involved removal of some muscle and vessel tissue surrounding the cranial nerves.

The nerve fiber samples of all these patients were studied and compared for proteomic analysis. Electron microscopy techniques were used for the process of evaluating the presence and functioning of different proteins in the nerve fiber obtained from the patient’s trigeminal nerves. It was found that migraining patients without the surgery had missing or defective myelin sheaths over their nerve cells compared to those that had opted for the surgery.

As per surgeon Bahman Guyuron, MD, of Case Western Reserve University, “If the insulation becomes cracked or damaged by conditions in the environment, that’s going to affect the cable’s ability to perform its normal function. In a similar way, damage to the myelin sheath may make the nerves more prone to irritation by the dynamic structure surrounding them, such as muscle and blood vessels, potentially triggering migraine attacks.” (3)

Another key observation made was that the placement and organization of cellular elements in the nerve fibers was tight and uniform for the group that undergone surgery to treat migraines whereas the migraining group was found to have a discontinuous and patchy distribution of the cellular elements in their nerve fibers.

This brings to light the criticality of the peripheral nerves in triggering complex events in a migraine attack that eventually involves our central nervous system. Co-authors of this study add, “These findings may also lead to other opportunities to treat patients with migraine headaches non-invasively, or with less invasive procedures that repair the defective myelin around nerves, lending additional protection for the nerves.”

SOURCES

  1. Image Credit: Neurons by Dreams Design; Freedigitialphotos.net; Web November 2014; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Human_body_g281-Neuron_p122308.html
  2. Excerpt of the study may be read at: Electron Microscopic and Proteomic Comparison of Terminal Branches of the Trigeminal Nerve in Patients with and without Migraine Headaches; Journal of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons; Web November 2014; http://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2014&issue=11000&article=00036&type=abstract
  3. Migraine Linked To Defective ‘Insulation’ Around Nerve Fibers, Suggests Study; Sciencedaily.com; Web November 2014; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141103113557.htm

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Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery Offers Significant Relief To Some Migraineurs: Study

Migraine Blog Eyelid

Eyelid Nerve Decompression Surgery Benefits Some Migraineurs (1)

What some migraineurs are willing to risk to shut off that pain. Turns out that getting under a knife that works on your eyelid is a risk well worth taking for them. This is not a procedure recommended for every migraineur. To be eligible for this eyelid cosmetic surgery, you need to meet certain criteria and thus screened to check if you should do this. The surgery essentially decompresses the nerves in the eyelid that trigger migraine episodes in many.

Dr. Oren Tessler, Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, have seen that more than 90% of the patients who underwent this surgery experienced relief and also got a bonus cosmetic eyelid surgery. The study and it’s findings have been published in the medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

The study examined 35 patients all of whom suffered from chronic nerve decompression triggering migrainous episodes. All of them had used some sort of nerve blocking treatment earlier or Botox at some point of time trying to tackle the pain.

As per Dr. Oren, “Surgery is a valid treatment for migraines in certain patients. We believe that these patients should have ready access to migraine trigger site decompression surgery. Although larger studies are needed, we have shown that we can restore these patients to full and productive lives.” (2)

The eyelid nerve decompression surgery is an alternative to the much done endoscopic approach where sensors are passed under scalp skin. However, this latter method makes it unsuitable for many depending on their anatomy. Also endoscopes are not available with every team and neither is it safe to assume endoscopy expertise in ever surgeon. However, in the eyelid cosmetic surgery for the screened and selected patients simply involved making a minor slit in their upper eyelid resulting in release of the decompressed nerve and subsequent deactivation of the nerve involved in the migraine episodes. (3)

The team involved in the study also included surgeons from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Some statistics on the surgery:

  • An overall positive response of 90.7%
  • Complete elimination of migraines in 51% of the patients.
  • 33% of the patients had between 50 and 80% of their symptoms resolved.

SOURCES

  1.  Caucasian Girl’s Blue Eye; Image Credit – Serge Bertasius Photography; Free Digital Photos; Web August 2014; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Younger_Women_g57-Caucasian_Girls_Blue_Eye_p154783.html
  2. Surgeons report significant migraine relief from cosmetic eyelid surgery technique; Eureka Alert; Web August 2014; http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-07/lsuh-srs073114.php
  3. Cosmetic eyelid surgery technique can help cure migraine: Study; Business Standard; Web August 2014; http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/cosmetic-eyelid-surgery-technique-can-help-cure-migraine-study-114080101045_1.html

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Cut Out That Pain! Now, Surgery To Treat Migraines

A plastic surgeon at the University Of Texas South-western Medical Center has developed a new surgical technique that uses Botox which is generally employed for cosmetic surgeries in treating migraines.

New Surgical Technique Using Botox Promises Relief To Migraineurs (1)

In the procedure, the probable peripheral nerve triggers are first identified and then Botox administered at those sites during the surgery. These sites would be those that the doctor thinks are the ones contributing towards the migraine pain. This method is not recommended for everyone and is said to be prescribed to migraineurs on case-to-case basis.

Dr. Jeffrey Janis, has come up with this technique based on 5 years of study on anatomies of animals where nerves were decompressed to provide long-lasting relief to acute pain. In one of his recent studies, Dr. Janis exhibited the success of his technique. The study found that the use of Botox in the surgery led to average improvement of 85.5 percent over original symptoms such as frequency, severity and duration — but surgery produced a 96.6 percent average improvement over original symptoms.

However, according to Dr. Janis, “This type of surgery is not for everyone, but for those who have not found relief, these procedures are proving effective.” (2)

SOURCES:

  1. Image by Taoty; Free Digital Photos.net; March 2012; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2692
  2. Botox, surgery effective migraine therapy; UPI.com; March 2012; http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2012/03/17/Botox-surgery-effective-migraine-therapy/UPI-27221331958592/

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