Although headache is a common symptom (e.g. estimated to be 14% of the general population from migraine), it is often misdiagnosed and wrongly prescribed. As a result, many patients take a handful of painkillers every day and the headache continues to bother them. Also, many migraines are quite resistant and the suffering may last for so many years that it eventually becomes a disability for the patients. There are also rare types of headache (eg cluster headache) that are difficult to diagnose and treat properly. Especially in chronic headaches, whether they are migraines or chronic tension-type headaches, pain is not a symptom - it is a disease and therefore needs a special treatment aimed at the central (brain) perception of pain. Thus, special clinics dealing with headaches have been created around the world.
In headache clinics, headaches, migraines or other pains in the head (such as trigeminal neuralgia or trigeminalgia, of the occipital nerves) are treated by specialist neurologists who deal with their classification, differential diagnosis and symptomatic, prophylactic or alternative treatment. Headache is also treated in special groups of the population, e.g. in athletes or pregnant women with migraine, in patients suffering from multiple diseases, in elderly patients and in patients who overuse painkillers and triptans.
Specifically, migraines (with aura), which according to recent research increase the risk
for heart attacks and strokes in women if they do not receive proper treatment, are often difficult to deal with and require a long and stable relationship of trust with the treating neurologist. We now have several "weapons" to deal with migraines. In addition to pills for the pain crisis or for the preventive treatment of migraine, BOTOX has now been approved in Greece as a measure against migraine with very good results. Also, a new treatment method has emerged with the form of various devices especially designed to treat the migraine pain. These devices come in various forms, but they are all placed on the patient's head and somehow stimulate a nerve to stop or prevent a migraine attack. Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of such Transcutaneous Supraorbital Stimulation (tSNS) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator devices for the treatment of migraine with aura. The commercial release of monoclonal antibodies for the prevention of migraine is also expected in the near future (patients of the clinic have been participating in such studies for migraine or cluster headache since 2015).
So, all of the above solutions could now be discussed for the effective and scientifically documented treatment of pain.