I can get my headaches at any time of day. They can be minor and then suddenly spike or can stay at the same level but be bad enough to stop me achieving my daily goals. When they get really bad I have the option of going to the hospital for a largactil drip and helps a bit. I’ve had xray and ct scan and nothing has shown up. Iv had these for 3 1/2 years .Can you help me please
Dr Shapira response:
Lynette, It is not uncommon to hear stories like yours. You have done the right initial approach of ruling out organic disease. Radiographs, CT Scans, MRI’s and other diagnostic testing rules out organic disease. While 90-95% of all pain is related to muscles and/or Trigeminal nerves it is essential to rule out severe organic disease. This is especially true with dramatic new symptoms. That is not what you are describing, but rather a chronic pain syndrome. It is important to address chronic pain ASAP as it creates permanent changes in how our brain functions.
I look forward to seeing patients just like you because it is usually very easy to get 50-80 percent improvement in the early diagnostic phase of treatment. Utilization of simple techniques to reduce headache at the first consultation appointment actually is very helpful in the diagnostic process. It is also essential in returning feelings of hopefulnes to my patients. One of the most devastating aspects of chronic pain is losing hope for a better life. Many patients report more relief at that first appointment then they have had in years or decades. I do not believe in miraculous cures but some patients believe it happens during that first visit. True treatment is a continuous process thru the healing process. Initial rapid improvement is not a cure it is only pulling yourself out of the quicksand of severe chronic pain where even moderate improvement feels miraculous.
The first visit allows me to understand your problem by temporarily relieving your symptoms. Once you thoroughly understand your we move on to treatment planning in how to make this temporary relief permanent and how to give you control of your symptoms.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THERE ARE NO MAGIC CURES, DRUGS OR SURGERIES. YOU MUST UNRAVEL THE PROBLEM BUT LIVING WITH CHRONIC PAIN HAS PERMANENTLY CHANGED BOTH YOU AND YOUR BRAIN as well as your family and support systems. THE ONLY TRUE “CURE” WOULD TO BE TO HAVE A DO-OVER FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS.
TREATMENT IS TO IMPROVE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I always tell my patients to expect 50-80% improvement initially. We continually strive to eliminate an additional 50-80% of remaining pain and dysfunction.
Most of my patients begin treatment with a Physiologic Diagnostic Orthotic as part of a comprehensive approach to giving you rapid relief of symptoms.
Teaching patients how to use easy self-administered Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks intranaslly as an abortive measure to prevent severe exacerbations allow you quickly eliminate most hospital visits and begin to retrieve your life. Eliminating a long term chronic pain problem is complex and we break it down into small pieces to address specific aspects. There is almost always various changes in your lifestyle to eliminate provoking new episodes.
I utilize a whole person approach to therapy and treatment. The use of trigger point injections and trigger point deactivation utilizing vapocoolants and stretch quickly eliminate much of the myofascial pain, a main cause of headache and gives you techniques to turn headaches off before they become severe.
While you are not close to Chicago I do see long distance patients. To find a Physiologic Dentist near you go to www.iccmo.org. I would also suggest working with a Diplomat of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine is many of these problems have a nocturnal problem associated, especially Sleep Disordered breathing. The American Academy of Pain Management also has Diplomats trained in treating chronic pain.
I am pleased to announce that my new Highland Park, Il office will be opening in September and it is a tow minute walk from the Fort Sheridan Metra Station for my Chicago and Milwaukee patients who depend on public transportation.