Comprehensive Treatment Program Benefits Chronic Migraine Patients
Research presented at the International Headache Congress in June supports the idea that an interdisciplinary outpatient treatment program improves the functioning and quality of life of Chronic Migraine patients. The components of the program included physical therapy, occupational therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Despite the reality that no preventive treatments have helped improve the frequency or intensity of my Migraine attacks, the opportunity to participate in a program like the one studied here made a huge change for the better in my life. So you can imagine I was thrilled to see someone offering this to patients in similar situations and studying the effectiveness.
Patients included in this study were Chronic Migraineurs who had been admitted to the hospital to receive IV treatment for Medication Overuse Headache. They had been evaluated by a physical therapist and psychologist to determine if they were good candidates for a 12 day comprehensive outpatient treatment program.
The researchers wanted to determine if providing Chronic Migraine patients with access to this kind of program helped improve patient quality of life even in the absence of aggressive medical management of their Migraine Disease.
Even given the relatively brief length of the program these patients participated in, when compared to their scores before the program after participating the Chronic Migraine patients spent less time resting, reported less pain and perception of greater pain control, less depression and anxiety, and better perception of their physical and mental health.
While I did not personally experience less pain or depression as a result of the six week program I attended, I sum up the difference as an improvement in the way I relate to my situation. And there is nothing better for the really hard days than having a bunch of skills to turn to so you can better cope with extreme pain, relentless vomiting, profound depression, and all the other challenging symptoms we deal with. I hope we'll see many more efforts to provide Chronic Migraine patients with the opportunity to expand their access to treatment options.1
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