National Seminar for Migraine Action Week: An Overview ¬†¬†[Adapted from the Migraine Association of Ireland‚Äôs report.]
‚ÄėMigraine and Well-Being: Approaches to Migraine Management’ was the theme of Migraine Action Week 2012 in a hugely successful national seminar in Dublin attended by over one hundred people.
Speaking at the event in the Ballsbridge Hotel on Saturday 16th September were Esther Tomkins (migraine specialist nurse) and Martin Ruttledge (consultant neurologist). Beginning by saying that Ireland was ‚Äėphenomenally under-resourced’ in neurologists, Dr Ruttledge went on to discuss migraine in general, citing studies which found that over 90% of patients attending GPs with headache were diagnosed with migraine.
He highlighted overuse of painkillers as a precursor to Medication Overuse Headache (www.migraine.ie) a topic which received much media coverage the following week due to guidelines released in Britain (see below). He also stated that travel sickness can be a precursor to migraine; that episodic migraine often changes into Chronic Daily Headache or Medication Overuse Headache; and that 87% of patients with migraine get facial/nasal congestion.
Later, when asked during question time if acupuncture was useful for Migraine and Chronic Headache Dr. Rutledge replied that he personally knew several people who had found acupuncture very useful in reducing headache pain.
Esther Tomkins spoke on new developments in migraine treatment: GammaCore ‚Äď Vagus Nerve Stimulator, botox and the Occipital Nerve Block and included a demonstration of the sites of the occipital nerve block and botox injections.
During lunch attendees had the opportunity to browse information stands relating to various complementary approaches to managing migraine including acupuncture, kinesiology, yoga, biofeedback, physiotherapy,yoga, reflexology, diet and nuitrition to name a few. All exhibitors emphasised that their therapies functioned as part of an overall approach to well being. They stressed that they worked in conjunction with other treatments such as prescribed medications and would never advise against a doctor’s instructions.
After lunch Linda Cooney spoke on the psychology of managing migraine and Ray McKiernan gave a stimulating talk on stress management that discussed the response to stress from the primitive parts of the brain. He said that nowadays stress often manifests in confined spaces like offices, where although the stress response of ‚Äėfight or flight’ is triggered the body cannot react. Emphasising his point that the human body is designed to move he encouraged the audience to stand and participate in some interesting exercises to an enthusiastic response!
The day concluded with participatory workshops on Stress Management, Buteyko Breathing Technique, and Yoga.
See¬† Migraine Association of Ireland website:¬† www.migraine.ie¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Helpline: 1850 200 378
Medication Overuse Headache in the British Press Sept 19th 2012
Medication Overuse Headache received a considerable amount of coverage in the media yesterday (19th September) due to guidelines published by the British National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) stating that painkillers can actually make headaches worse. Chronic migraineurs are particularly susceptible to MOH or Analgesic Rebound Headache and the guidelines highlight the vicious cycle that can occur when pain relieving medication actually causes further pain. The MAI issued a press release in response to highlight the prevalence of MOH amongst patients presenting at the Migraine/Headache clinics in Ireland.