According to a study presented at the Academy of Neurology’s annual conference, of the 1,254 people who met the criteria of chronic migraine only 40.8% reported seeking a health care provider for treatment. Of those seeing treatment, only a quarter had been accurately diagnosed with chronic migraine. And of those diagnosed, only 44.4% were receiving minimally appropriate treatment.
Appropriate migraine treatment is complex, but it is not impossible or unachievable. A Headache Specialist can help you find the help that you need. There are three essential components for appropriate treatment of migraine:
1. Headache Specialist
Only a headache specialist can accurately assess your condition, bearing in mind all possible causes and contributing factors, and provide accurate information. You may be well-informed about migraines and familiar with your own symptoms and experiences, but unless you have consulted a headache specialist you may be missing out on an accurate diagnosis and optimal treatment.
2. Accurate Diagnosis
Once a headache specialist has fully assessed your symptoms and examined your medical history, he or she may diagnose migraine. This diagnosis is a critical component of treatment, because many migraine symptoms can also be related to other causes. In order to receive appropriate treatment, it must be clearly established that your symptoms are indeed caused by migraine and not by some other underlying condition.
3. Adequate Treatment
Proper treatment for headache and migraine conditions involves more than a simple prescription. A holistic treatment plan is typically necessary, and this can involve many factors such as lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, prescription medication, and more.
Unless your provider is a headache specialist, you may not be receiving optimal care for your primary headache condition. You may wait several months to get an appointment with a neurologist, spend several hours in the waiting room, and only get 5-15 minutes of face time with the provider.
In order to get a thorough history and comprehensive examination, a headache specialist spends at least an hour of time with a new patient. Thirty minutes or more are spent digging deep into the history and physical assessment, while the other 30 minutes or more are spent with the staff team on patient education and instruction on the specific diagnosis, lifestyle management, medication compliance, and common side effects the patients may experience. The patient is sent home with a comprehensive instruction plan with evidence base articles on every aspect of the diagnosis and prescription plan.
In this series of posts we are going to draw on that thorough background of information to cover a variety of topics related to migraine, in order to help you better understand the condition.
Chronic Migraine: Have you been correctly diagnosed?
What is Migraine?
Migraine Types: Episodic Migraine vs. Chronic Migraine
Migraine Types: Migraine without Aura
Migraine Types: Migraine with Typical Aura
Common Migraine Symptoms and Causes
How is Migraine Diagnosed?
How is Migraine Treated?
Migraine and Disability