Back to Back Issues Page
HeadWay, Issue #104 -- How to Reboot Your Treatment Plan
February 21, 2013

*Please note: URLs may wrap onto the next line. To visit the website, cut and paste the entire URL into your address bar on your browser*

In this month's issue:

How to Reboot Your Treatment Plan

Recent articles not to miss...

Say what?!  Leukotriene blockers

How to Reboot Your Treatment Plan

Are you feeling like you're stuck?  Things aren't improving?  You're not sure where to turn next?

This article is for you.

How can you reboot your treatment plan - start afresh and find better treatment for your headaches, cluster headache, or migraine?

Some of these steps are easy, some may be hard or time-consuming.  But they will all help you get your treatment plan moving again...

(Note: This list is intended to give some basic ideas to get you started.  This is not the final "solve-everyone's-problems" list.)

(1) Write down (or print out) on a sheet of paper exactly what treatments you're involved in regularly, and what they're for.  That includes supplements, medications, vitamins, massage, whatever it may be.

(2) Show this list to every medical/health professional you visit.  This is an important step toward having a team work for you - working together, not against one another.  (For more on this topic, I recommend What's Wrong With Me? by Lynn M. Dannheisser and Dr Jerry M Rosenbaum.)

(3) This could be a more challenging step, depending on how organized you've been in the past.  But take the time to write down every treatment you've tried, and how much it helped (if at all), and what side effects you experienced.  Include the dates of when you tried these treatments.  If possible, categorize the treatments (ie physiotherapy?  triptan drug?  beta-blocker?  vitamin?)  At the very least, your main doctor and migraine specialist (if they're different) should see this list.

(4) Check out the currently highest rated treatments from this blog post.  Read both the highest rated and the treatments listed "in between".  Which of these have you never tried?  Have you, for example, tried a triptan, but not frovatriptan or zolmitriptan?  Make a note of the treatments that you haven't tried, if any.

(5) If there are any treatments that you've tried in the past that have worked a little, why did you stop them?  Consider trying a different form of the same drug, for example.  Or try the same treatment along with another treatment.  Make note of these.

(6) Be sure you have an accurate diagnosis.  If you have migraine, what type of migraine is it?  Or what type of cluster?  Ask for a second opinion, and get as specific as you can.  Your treatment will be more targeted if your diagnosis is more specific.

(7) Can you improve your lifestyle?  Is your diet migraine-friendly?  Is there any way you can be more active, if only for a few minutes a day?

(8) If you're still struggling to find treatments, try talking to other health professionals.  Have you tried treatments such as biofeedback?  Physiotherapy or various kinds?  Check out this article for a summary of medications that are used for migraine.  Take special note if there is a whole class of medication you haven't tried, but note others as well.

(9) Now, return to your doctor or specialist with your new ideas.  You are taking control of your treatment, and you need her or his expertise.  If your doctor is not interested in helping you get a better diagnosis, or find a better treatment, find another doctor.

(10) Take it one step at a time.  Be sure to keep a migraine/headache diary on a daily basis.  Keep track of new treatments.  Remember that very often it's several treatments and lifestyle changes working together that can make a difference.

If you follow these steps, you should be more organized, be more in control, and have a better idea of what treatments may help you going forward.  These are not things to do every day, but to do every few months or even years.  It may be hard, but it's worth it to take the time to rethink your strategy and find people who can really help you.

Recent articles not to miss...

Here are a few posts from Headache and Migraine News that you might find useful:

Say what?!  Leukotriene blockers

One class of medications that is sometimes used for migraine are leukotriene blockers, also known as leukotriene antagonists or inhibitors.  This class of drugs is used mainly for asthma or allergies (allergic rhinitis).  Leukotrienes are compounds that can cause inflammation and so congestion.  But they have other mechanisms as well.  These types of medications have been used as migraine preventatives.

Thanks for reading!  Remember, if you have feedback or ideas for future issues, visit the HeadWay MailRoom.  Your password is nomoache.
Back to Back Issues Page