Your Rehabilitative Head Pain Specialist across GEORGIA
Head Pain & Migraines
Headaches and migraines are common pain conditions that originate in the head. Though headaches and migraines cause different types of pain and symptoms, for those who struggle with them, these pain conditions can seriously affect their quality of life.
Ankur Patel, DO, RPH, and the team at Southern Pain and Spine in Gainesville, Jasper, and Athens, Georgia provide comprehensive headache treatment and migraine treatment to give patients the relief they deserve. Using a patient-focused, rehabilitative approach, they develop individualized treatment plans to help you find the best treatment for migraine and headache that works for your unique needs.
If you're ready to put an end to your head pain and get back to enjoying your life, we're ready to help you achieve your goals. Request your first appointment with the physiatrists at Southern Pain and Spine today.
Head Pain Treatments
Physical Therapy & Home Exercise Programs
One of the most effective ways to find relief from headaches and migraines is through physical therapy. Physical therapy can help to release muscle tension, increase blood flow and improve range of motion in the neck — all of which can help to lessen pain.
At Southern Pain and Spine, our team of highly skilled physical therapists will work with you to develop a physical therapy program that's tailored to your unique needs. We'll also provide you with at-home exercises and stretches that you can do on your own to help manage your pain.
TENS, Compound Topicals, Biofeedback, and Meditation
In addition to physical therapy, our team also offers other non-invasive, drug-free treatments that can provide relief from headaches and migraines. These treatments include:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): TENS is a pain management technique that uses low-voltage electrical currents to relieve pain. The electrical currents help to reduce inflammation and release muscle tension.
- Compound topical medications: Compound topicals are medications that are applied directly to the skin. They're often used to treat pain conditions that affect the neck and head, such as headaches and migraines.
- Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a type of mind-body therapy that helps you learn to control your body's response to pain. By using biofeedback, you can help to reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches and migraines.
- Meditation: Meditation is a relaxation technique that can help to ease muscle tension and pain. There are many different types of meditation, so our team will work with you to find the best type of meditation for your needs.
For some people, headaches and migraines may be caused or worsened by stress. If this is the case for you, our team may recommend psychological evaluation and counseling. During counseling, you'll work with a psychologist to identify and manage the stressors in your life that may be contributing to your pain.
If physical therapy, home exercise programs, and other non-invasive treatments haven't provided relief from your headaches or migraines, our team may recommend injections. Injections can help to relieve pain by reducing inflammation and releasing muscle tension.
Types of injections that we offer include:
- Trigger Point Injection: A trigger point injection is an injection of a local anesthetic into a muscle that's causing pain. The local anesthetic helps to relax the muscle and relieve pain.
- Botulinum Toxin for Migraine, Spasm, and Dystonia: Botulinum toxin is a type of protein that's used to relax muscles. It's often used to treat conditions that cause muscle spasms, such as migraines, spasticity, and dystonia.
- Epidural Injections: Epidural injections are injections of a local anesthetic and steroid into the epidural space (the space around the spinal cord). The local anesthetic helps to relieve pain, while the steroid reduces inflammation.
- Facet Joint Injection: A facet joint injection is an injection of a local anesthetic and steroid into the facet joint, which is the joint that connects the bones in the spine. The local anesthetic helps to relieve pain, while the steroid reduces inflammation.
Nerve blocks are another type of injection that can be used to relieve pain. Nerve blocks work by temporarily numbing the nerve that's causing pain. This can help to provide relief from headaches and migraines.
We perform many different types of nerve blocks, including:
- Occipital Nerve Block: An occipital nerve block is an injection of a local anesthetic into the occipital nerves, which are the nerves that run from the back of the head to the scalp. The local anesthetic helps to numb the nerves and relieve pain.
- Supraorbital Nerve Block: A supraorbital nerve block is an injection of a local anesthetic into the supraorbital nerves, which are the nerves that run from the forehead to the top of the head.
- Infiltration: Infiltration is an injection of a local anesthetic into the tissue around a nerve that's causing pain.
- Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block: A sphenopalatine ganglion block is an injection of a local anesthetic into the sphenopalatine ganglion, which is a cluster of nerves located behind the nose.
- Medial Branch Nerve Blocks: Medial branch nerves are the nerves that connect the facet joints to the spinal cord. Medial branch nerve blocks are injections of a local anesthetic into these nerves.
Radiofrequency ablation is a treatment that uses heat to damage the nerve that's causing pain. During radiofrequency ablation, a needle is inserted into the nerve. Then, radio waves are used to generate heat and damage the nerve. This helps to relieve pain by preventing the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain.
Occipital Nerve Stimulation
Occipital nerve stimulation is a treatment that's used to relieve pain by stimulating the occipital nerves, which are the nerves that run from the back of the head to the scalp. During treatment, a device called a neurostimulator is implanted under the skin. The neurostimulator sends electrical signals to the occipital nerves, which helps to relieve pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between a headache vs migraine?
A migraine is a type of headache. However, headaches and migraines are different and may require different approaches for pain management.
Headaches include any pain condition that affects the head. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and cause mild to moderate pain. Cluster headaches cause severe stabbing pain behind one eye. The pain occurs in clusters, coming and going over days, weeks, or months.
Migraines cause head pain. However, these types of headaches also have other symptoms, such as sensitivity to light or nausea. Migraines may also cause symptoms before and after the head pain.
What causes headaches and migraines?
There are many potential causes of chronic abdominal pain, including (but not limited to):
- Musculoskeletal problems like neck strain or injury
- Stress or anxiety
- Hormone changes
- Certain smells or odors
- Bright lights
- Loud noises
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Skipping meals or fasting
- Alcohol use
- Caffeine withdrawal
Migraines, on the other hand, are thought to be caused by changes in the brainstem and its interaction with pain pathways. These changes can be triggered by:
- Hormonal changes
- Certain foods or drinks
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Bright lights
- Strong smells
- Weather changes
Does your migraine doctor near me accept insurance?
Yes! In order to make leading-edge rehabilitative care accessible to as many patients as possible, Southern Pain and Spine proudly accepts insurance from most major providers across the state of Georgia. View our list of accepted providers on our page, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly and knowledgeable staff.