Posts Tagged ‘throbbing headaches’

Are Doctors Overprescribing Painkillers for Migraines? Fox News Report

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011



It’s a double-edged sword- taking prescribed painkillers for migraines.  On the one hand, migraine headaches are so excruciating and energy draining, you’ll take almost anything to make the throbbing headaches and nausea go away.  On the other hand, you might be giving yourself a rebound headache- practically penciling in the next migraine attack.

Are Doctors Overprescribing Painkillers for Migraines? Fox News Report

What follows is a transcription of a recent FOX News report on migraines- Neurologists See Overuse of Painkillers To Treat Headaches and Migraines:

Get a headache? Pop a pill.

It can be as simple as that.  But according to some doctors, the pill popping in this country has gotten out of control.  In fact, according to many neurologists who specialize in headaches, primary care physicians in some cases are actually contributing to their patients’ overuse of painkillers.

Meet Barbara

Every single day, multiple times a day, Barbara Campbell is managing her pain, or trying to prevent it.  For more than 20 years, Campbell has suffered from debilitating headaches, or migraines.

“It’s really blinding if you don’t take something that’s strong enough to kill it.  Sometimes, I have to turn my kids over to someone…”

They’re usually triggered by tension, and unbeknownst to her, until just recently, even the very pills she was popping to take the headaches away were actually contributing to the pain, and causing a second possibly more dangerous problem- addiction.

Dr. Maureen weighs in

Dr. Maureen A. Moriarty, at the Headache Center at Georgetown University Hospital, says migraines, which are described as moderate to severe headaches, affect 30 million Americans, mostly women.  Why do Women get more Migraines than Men do? Seventy percent of the patients she sees are overusing painkillers to treat their headaches, everything from Tylenol to barbiturates, even narcotics Fiorinal, Fioricet, Oxycodone, and Oxycontin.

“It’s an epidemic- it really is a serious issue.  They come not only with one problem, with a migraine case, but they also come with an angelic overuse case.”

Too busy for migraines

Barbara Campbell: “I was raising my three sons, and…you’re busy.  You’re driving carpools here, running all over…the kids are breaking arms and legs.”

“These are really people in their peak performance years, and they’re really stymied by this, by the pain, and then with the analgesic overuse.” -Dr. Moriarty, Georgetown University Hospital

Pain medications- how much is too much?

Her primary care physician gave her Fioricet, a barbiturate-based painkiller, along with a beta blocker.  But after two years, the headaches persisted.  Her doctor then gave her Oxycodone or Percocet.

“I took it in a low dose, and then after a while I took it in a higher dose.  The headache would come back, so you end up taking more.  And that’s the problem.”

Dr. Moriarty: “When you take a pain medication more frequently than eight days a month, or if you break that down, more than two days a week, you actually can lower the threshold.”


Are most docs ignorant of migraine illness?

The problem: Dr. Moriarty says primary care physicians don’t know any better.  The painkillers can easily be called into the pharmacy, no extra screening required, and the drugs are relatively inexpensive.  General practitioners have an average eight minutes to spend with a patient, and in many cases, this is a quick and easy fix.

“These are medicines that have been in the market for many, many years, so the primary care provider is really familiar with them.  So they feel comfortable with them.”

Dangerous side effects of migraine meds

The problem is these drugs can eventually take a toll on your liver.  As drying agents, they’re known to cause dental problems.  They can cause fatigue and even changes in your hormonal cycle.

Dr. Moriarty says they can ultimately destroy lives.  “Not only does it medically create havoc, but emotionally and socially.”

If she did it, so can you…

Barbara Campbell: “I had to go somewhere and just stop taking them altogether.”

Just this year, after more than 20 years on painkillers, Barbara Campbell checked herself into the Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute.

“You take all your medicine up to Michigan, and hand it over to them, happily, and then you’re in an inpatient hospital there.”

After a couple of weeks, Barbara came home, no longer dependent on painkillers, and on a new regimen that was actually helping her pain.

Does she blame her doctors for providing the meds she ultimately became dependent upon?  No- she blames herself.

“I just didn’t take the time to slow down and really look at how much medicine I was taking.  I was trying to just meet the needs that I had at the time, and I really dragged this out too long.  I should have stopped it.”

There are only 300 neurologists in the US with a specialty in headaches, so you do have to be your own best advocate, read up about the disorder, and make a list of questions to take in to your primary care physician.

Natural migraine nutrients

Some alternative ingredients that may help improve your body’s response to inflammation include magnesium, butterbur, and riboflavin, taken together in one supplement.  

Also read:

How long will my Migraine Headache Last? A Migraine Symptom Chart

Why do Migraines cause Nausea and Vomiting?


Free Digital PhotosHarveyben,

10 Unusual Chronic Pain Relief Tactics for the Bedridden

Monday, July 18th, 2011



Ease Chronic Pain while Bedridden: Because if suffering from chronic pain is the pits,then being bedridden with chronic migraine pain is the Mariana Trench of all ailments.


Imagine being in so much agony that just turning your head the wrong way or even blinking gives you unimaginable pain and misery.  It’s no wonder that so many migraine headache sufferers spend a disproportionate amount of time in bed, either waiting for the throbbing headaches to fade or recuperating from the migraine attack.

“How can I relieve headache pain when the migraine medications don’t work?”

Pain relief medications are hit or miss; what relieves migraine pain for one might not work for another.  That doesn’t mean you are without options.  When traditional pain treatments let you down, it’s good to know there are some alternative, although sometimes unusual, methods of soothing your aches and pains that work for many sufferers of chronic illnesses.

Here are 10 pain management tricks that work, even if you’re bedridden:

  • Breathe deeply. By now, it’s common knowledge that deep breathing, along with gentle body stretches, is an excellent way to put your body into a state of relaxation.  You might not be able to practice Hatha yoga moves from your bed, but you can easily benefit from the many yoga exercises that utilize breathing techniques for relaxation.
  • Take a trip down Memory Lane. Looking at the faces of loved ones releases pain-killing endorphins.  Keep a photo album by your bedside for days when the pain seems too difficult to cope.  Depending on your pain threshold, you might also enjoy seeing a montage of family photos on your computer screensaver.
  • Lean on somebody. It’s a proven fact that even the worst-case scenarios become more manageable when you have support from friends and family.  If you don’t feel comfortable confiding with anybody about your migraine pain, then join one of the many migraine support groups that exist online and in face-to-face group therapy.


  • Let it out. It’s okay to shout out loud when you’re in pain.  Scientists have even proven that “swearing” while suffering from physical pain raises your pain threshold.  So, don’t hold back a few choice words every so often.  Just be careful not to hurt anybody’s feelings or offend others while you’re at it.
  • Just imagine. According to a Johns Hopkins study, pain sufferers who replayed romantic scenes in their minds experienced less anxiety and discomfort than subjects who dreamed about food, for example.


  • Meditate. Take the opportunity to practice self-hypnosis.  Visualize a comfort zone, and imagine all the sensory features related to it, such as the sound of the wind, the scent of orange blossoms, or the feel of the sand beneath your feet.  Many meditation cd’s are available to provide guidance and background music.
  • But don’t think too hard. Sometimes, brooding on an unpleasant situation causes anxiety that ultimately escalates out of control.  When, or if, the situation arises, such as a three-alarm migraine attack, you overreact, robbing yourself of the opportunity to learn how to cope with the symptoms.  Don’t get trapped into a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom.  Try to take things in stride; you might be surprised to learn that what you thought would be a number nine headache on the Richter scale was actually a three.  Stop Your Next Panic Attack in 4 Simple Steps
  • Magnet therapy. Whether magnet therapy provides a placebo effect is anybody’s guess.  Sworn believers insist that strategically placed magnets increase blood flow, thus relieving aches and pain.  To test it for yourself, tuck a small magnet under a Band-Aid, and apply wherever you feel pain.  Either way, there’s no harm in trying, and it might help.
  • Myofascial Massage. Enlist a close friend or certified masseuse to give you a gentle massage.  Myofascial massage is less strenuous than Swedish massage, which can sometimes be painful.  5 Sports-Related Migraines You Never Heard Of
  • Listen to a good book. Reading is out of the question, especially if you suffer from migraines with aura.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from the pain-relieving distraction that a good story can provide.  Assuming that small sounds don’t also trigger your migraine headaches, then listening to an audio book is an excellent way to make the most out of an uncomfortable situation.

Also read:

Go Ask Alice: Migraine Auras in Wonderland

Perfumes and Migraines: The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Stinky


Pain Relief Tips and Tricks | Living life from a bed

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Different Types Of Massage For The Bedridden | LIVESTRONG.COM