With Independence Day around the corner, you the migraine sufferer may already be thinking of all the ways that the Fourth can turn into a massive headache (fireworks, junk food, and the extra activity, to name a few). But as it turns out, fearing the possibility of pain may just cause migraine symptoms to get worse.
A recent study published in the journal Headache examined this exact problem. The study entitled “The Role of Fear of Pain in Headache” researched the idea that people who suffered from recurrent headaches are often afraid of pain, “which disrupts thought processes interferes with daily activities, and may maintain headache-related disability through avoidance and associated negative reinforcement.” Researchers found that, in fact, the fear of pain was a significant predictor for the severity and frequency of headaches.
Many have explored the idea of fearing pain including the world-renowned Buddhist teacher and author Pema Chodron who wrote in her book, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, “No one ever tells us to stop running away from fear. I once asked the Zen master Kobun Chino Roshi how he related with fear, and he said, ‘I agree, I agree.’ But the advice we usually get is to sweeten it up, smooth it over, take a pill, or distract ourselves, but by all means make it go away.”
This isn’t to say that taking a migraine medication or looking for a way to cure a headache is the wrong or weak thing to do. On the contrary, dedicating your time and attention to finding a migraine treatment that works for you, doing the research and booking consultations, is certainly a difficult task. Facing the problem head-on in spite of the fear of failing and having to try another route takes bravery.
At the Migraine Treatment Centers of America, our doctors hope you will be one of the hundreds of patients who have found respite for their migraine symptoms. Consider the Omega migraine procedure and you may be able to free yourself from fear and possibly get rid of a headache for good. This could be your happiest Independence Day yet.