Depending on your medical history and past treatments, your physician may recommend the following treatments to manage chronic migraine pain:
- Intramuscular narcotic injections to control pain. Demerol or Toradol are often used for this purpose.
- Nerve block injections to selectively paralyze nerves that transmit pain. Botox, Depromedrome and Sarapin are frequently used as nerve blocks.
If intramuscular injections and nerve blocks fail to provide relief, your physician may recommend a medical procedure such as:
- Epidural steroid injections
- Facet injections
- Surgical removal of nerves
- An implantable neurostimulation device
Migraine Treatment Centers of America currently offers the Omega procedure, which uses neurostimulation.
About the Omega migraine procedure:
Within the last 15 years, implantable neurostimulation devices have proven to be very effective in treating chronic pain — including chronic migraine headaches. While certain risks are involved with any surgical procedure, the risks associated with an implantable neurostimulation device are relatively small.
Unlike other surgical options that involve cutting and/or removing nerves and muscles, the Omega procedure does not alter the patient’s anatomy. During the procedure, wires are implanted under the skin in the patient’s forehead. Although they can’t be seen, these wires provide gentle neurostimulation to the occipital and supraorbital nerves that can cause migraine pain. The wires are connected to a small battery implanted under the skin near the upper buttocks. The battery is designed to be charged wirelessly, last up to 10 years and not limit physical activity.
Patients first undergo a four-day trial to confirm that they respond to neurostimulation before the device is permanently implanted. More than 80 percent of trials successfully reduce pain in qualified patients. The procedure has been featured in Cephalalgia, the journal of the International Headache Society.