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Chronic Migraine Headaches Specialist

Alpenglow Pain & Wellness -  - Board Certified Interventional Pain Management Physician

Alpenglow Pain & Wellness

Board Certified Interventional Pain Management Physicians & Board Certified Anesthesiologists located in Anchorage, AK

A migraine is a disabling and common condition reported in approximately 12% of adults in the United States, according to the American Migraine Foundation. Dr. Nichelle C. Renk helps men and women with migraines to identify the cause, prevent future attacks, and relieve pain and tension. If you experience 15 or more migraine days per month, you’re suffering from chronic migraines and can benefit from interventional pain management. For the highest standard of care, visit Dr. Renk and call to schedule.

Chronic Migraine Headaches Q & A

What causes chronic migraine headaches?

The possible causes of chronic migraine headaches may include changes in the brainstem and interactions with the major pain pathway, the trigeminal nerve.

Imbalances in critical brain chemicals such as serotonin (a pain regulator) might also be involved. Levels of serotonin decrease when a migraine attack occurs and might prompt the trigeminal nerve to release neuropeptides. The neuropeptides can move to your brain’s outer covering and result in head pain.

Other neurotransmitters, such as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) are also being researched in relation to migraines.

Factors that might induce migraines are called triggers and include:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Certain foods or food additives
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Stress
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Physical exertion like sexual activity
  • Medication

Changes in the environment, such as seasonal changes, might also play a part in inducing migraines.

What are the symptoms of chronic migraine headaches?

In addition to head pain, chronic migraine headaches can be accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, nausea, fatigue, swelling of the temples, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.

Migraine pain can vary and, in some cases, be disabling. Warning symptoms can occur before a headache, such as flashes of light, blind spots, blurred vision, or tingling on one side of the face or in the arm or leg.

When should I see a doctor about my chronic migraine headaches?

If you experience regular chronic migraine headaches that negatively affect your quality of life and cognitive functioning and cause other problems, it’s best to visit Dr. Renk to find the appropriate course of treatment.

A migraine might require a to visit the emergency room if you experience an abrupt migraine, a severe migraine following a head injury, or a migraine accompanied by double vision, weakness, numbness, fever, mental confusion, or seizures. You might also have a stiff neck or trouble speaking.

What are the treatments for chronic migraine headaches?

Dr. Renk offers a variety of effective treatments for chronic migraine headaches:

  • Botox™ for migraines (usually repeated every 12 weeks)
  • Proper nutrition and exercise
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain psychology
  • Platelet-rich plasma therapy
  • Acupuncture and other forms of alternative medicine

Dr. Renk can prescribe medications when necessary, such as anti-inflammatories and preventative medications.

To address your migraine headaches, call to schedule your personal consultation online today.