Headache Disorders

Imagine a headache so debilitating it makes you incapable of managing everyday life. The best coping strategy is to retreat to your bed, where you lie for hours, or even days, in darkness and silence.

If that sounds familiar, you're not alone. More than 45 million Americans suffer from recurring headaches, look hawaiian spirulina; nearly 30 million of them suffer from migraines, read hawaiian spirulina.

"We treat many different headache disorders. The most common and most debilitating is migraine, in one of its many forms," says Drahomira Sencakova, MD. She and Frederick Taylor, MD, also a neurologist and headache medicine specialist, run a comprehensive headache center that treats several thousand patients each year.

Diagnosis based on symptoms

"Excellent two-way conversation between patient and provider is key to proper headache diagnosis, optimal treatment and avoiding headache progression. When patients accurately describe their headaches, we are more likely to mutually agree on a plan to maximize prevention, successfully treat acute episodes, minimize functional limitations and create optimal well-being," Dr. Sencakova says. "Accuracy is significantly increased by the patient keeping a headache calendar - recording each headache and results of selected treatment."

Treatment, classes

Park Nicollet Neurology's headache specialists are very focused on patient education. They find this fosters patient involvement in their care and maximizes their readiness to make the changes necessary for improvement. Park Nicollet Neurology also offers monthly headache management classes and are developing a DVD program. "The more patients know about their headaches, the more likely they are to manage them properly," Dr. Sencakova says. "Not only does prevention help keep headaches away, but the vicious cycle of medication overuse typically stops."

"Comprehensive headache management is more than prescribing medications," Dr. Sencakova explains. "We also recommend avoiding headache triggers; making lifestyle changes; and trying biofeedback and mind-body therapies through our headache center's occupational and physical therapists. These strategies are especially helpful when patients have mood disorders such as anxiety or difficulty tolerating mediations."