Chronic migraines are one of the more common pain issues we see from the public. In fact, headaches in general effect over 48% of the population according to Current Pain and Headache. With so many patients complaining of headache pain, better treatments should be readily available. Maverick Medical Education teaches nerve blocks to provide relief for many of these patients.
Headaches and Treatment
While headaches are very common for the population to experience at one time or another, some can be attributed to factors that are somewhat easily solved or avoided. Hunger, dehydration, fatigue, illness, and environmental factors can all cause headaches for short times for any individual. However chronic issues with headaches or migraines can debilitate a patient’s ability to function. Treatment options are often lacking, with prescription drugs lacking the long-term relief that patients need and many seeking a solution that prevents the migraines from happening in the first place.
Efficacy of Nerve Blocks
Several nerve blocks are used in the treatment of chronic headaches or migraines, each application is unique and has different purposes, along with different outcomes. The greater occipital nerve block and lesser occipital nerve block are used depending on the source of the patient’s pain. These blocks have been shown to be effective in reducing the severity and in reducing the number of side effects a patient reported. The relief time period is longer in many patients as well. The third occipital nerve block can sometimes be given in addition to the greater occipital nerve block, largely to reduce inflammation. Studies need to continue in order to determine how effective the third occipital nerve block is on its own. The sphenopalatine Ganglion block helps to reduce pain levels and frequency in many patients, with “60.7% of subjects [experiencing] complete pain relief” for the trials that included episodic cluster headaches.
Nerve blocks can have some drawbacks with numbness occurring in other areas in certain patients. Obviously, a drawback would be for patients who underwent treatment and felt no pain relief or reduction in frequency, where other pain relief options would need to be explored.
At Maverick Medical Education, there are a number of courses that teach pain management techniques for you to better serve the patients in your practice and in your community. By taking our Chronic Pain Series and Regional Anesthesia Essentials and Advanced courses, you will be better able to find a method to help every patient who walks through your doors. To learn more, contact us today or see our course catalog today.