Can primary headaches be treated?
Yes and no.
Probably not what you wanted to hear, but the word ‘treat’ is tricky.
If it means ‘cure’ to you, then no. Primary headache disorders are incurable. That is because no one knows what causes them.
If it means ‘manage’, ‘handle’, or ‘tend to’, then yes. Doctors know why primary headache disorders hurt and how they cause other symptoms, so they know how to alleviate the pain and discomfort they bring.
Because primary headache disorders cause blood vessels in your brain to dilate and inflame, triggering pain, there are two very effective ways to treat them. The one way stops the sequence of events that leads to this inflammation and dilation. And the other way gets parts of your brain and all the nerves involved in developing and sensing primary headaches to run as if new.
This can be done through:
- nerve and ganglion blocks
- drugs that target inflammation and vasodilation
Drugs are very effective at killing pain, bringing down inflammation, disrupting certain triggers, and constricting dilated blood vessels. Some of these drugs have risks though. They can cause dependancy and even other headaches.
At Lumina, we prefer another route. We believe the safest, easiest, and most effective primary headache treatments are pterygopalatine ganglion and occipital nerve blocks and non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation.
The nerve and ganglion blocks interrupt the chain of events that agitate blood vessels in the brain and so prevent pain. And non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation resets structures in your brain to their healthier factory settings and mobilizes your body’s natural tools for managing inflammation.
These approaches will not cure your headaches, but they will decrease the number of attacks and soften their blows.
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