Migraines affect nearly 13% of the United States population, which equates to roughly 39 million people. When these individuals experience a migraine, the pain can be so intense that it causes dizziness, light sensitivity, and nausea. So, it’s no wonder that people are constantly looking for medication to help ease their migraine pain. Most people turn to over-the-counter options or even seek help through a prescription, but these medications could do more harm than good.

The overuse of medications to treat migraines can make things worse. Instead of improving, people often experience medication-overuse headaches (MOHs), also known as rebound headaches. MOHs are common for many of our patients here at Grey Matters of Carmel. So, let’s take a look at how our overmedicated society is contributing to increased migraines.

What Causes MOHs?

The body and the brain have a natural tendency to build up tolerances, whether to drugs, alcohol, or even prescription medications. While we still don’t have a clear understanding of what causes MOHs, the theory is that the brain builds a tolerance to pain medication over time, forcing the individual to take more to find relief. Eventually, the drug stops being effective, causing the body to turn on the medication. The more medication that’s consumed, the more headaches a person will experience. All of this eventually leads to chronic migraines that people learn to live with and tolerate.

Which Medications Can Cause MOHs?

There’s no question that today’s society is overmedicated. Doctors love writing scripts for meds that often don’t address the real problem. Without actually looking at the brainwaves, your doctors can only speculate what’s causing your migraine. Instead, they will call the pharmacy for a 30-day supply of a medication that combines a pain reliever with caffeine. Depending on the severity of your migraines, your doctor may prescribe an opioid, which is highly addictive.

How Can Medication-Overuse Migraines Be Treated?

The most effective way to reduce the number and intensity of your headaches is to stop taking your medication. This may sound counterintuitive, but it really is the most effective way to reduce your MOHs. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to take any kind of medication for several weeks while your body goes through a detoxification process. This is where most people fail and turn back to their medications, which is something neurofeedback can help you avoid!

How Can Neurofeedback Help with Migraines?

Instead of giving our patients more medications, we use their own brains to help heal and mitigate their symptoms. Neurofeedback specifically targets the brainwaves responsible for migraines, encouraging the brain to create new, healthier neural pathways. As a result, our patients often find that they have more mental clarity, feel more relaxed, sleep better, and most importantly, notice a dramatic reduction in their migraines. So, if you’re ready to experience life without that throbbing headache, then give us a call at (317) 215-7208.

Photo by Ksenia Yakovleva on Unsplash