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Medications & Prescription Treatment

SPG nerve cluster treatment?

  • By RachelRoo

    Has anyone had anything like this? Good results? Neutral? Negative? I have a friend/coworker who went and got this treatment and says that her headache frequency and duration is significantly reduced, so I am considering checking it out. I’m one of those who has tried an endless amount of medications, gets regular Botox shots, and still has more headaches than I’d like to have.

    http://silverspringmedical.com/services/migraine-headache-mirx-protocal/

    Please share if you have had a similar treatment!

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    RachelRoo,
    So funny you mention this. I have not used SPG treatments, but I was recently at a seminar that discussed a technique of implanting an SPG gadget in your head that you could control, instead of having to go to a doctor to have the procedure done. I plan to write about that study soon.

    I have definitely heard of people having good success with this treatment. However, it is most effective for people who feel their Migraine pain in the face and temples, not the back of the head. So talk to your doctor to see if you are a candidate.

    Let us know if you try it!
    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By RachelRoo

    Ah. My migraines are tricky. They start in the temples but quickly migrate to the back of my neck and down down down down down. I’ve done a bazillion neck related things over the years though, PT and spinal nerve blocks, etc etc, there was no magic bullet there, the only thing that has ever made a difference is the standard migraine meds and Botox. Still just looking (like we all are) for ways to control and minimize the pain that aren’t more abortives and painkillers so that MOH doesn’t become a problem.

    (Yes, I’m on prophylactics too, have been for ages! Topomax and Cymbalta. Just like all of us keeping eyes and ears out for the thing we haven’t tried!)

    I was interested in the SPG because a coworker who lives near me (and goes to the same neurology center) went to this particular place and said it has made a major difference for her. Possibly it wouldn’t work for me though, It sounds like no. I’ll still see what my own doc thinks when I talk to him next. Thanks for your advice!

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  • By RachelRoo

    So I’ve been doing this for about 4 weeks now (2 to 3) times per week with a week off when my doctor went on vacation, and I am finding the results very promising. It hasn’t ‘cured’ my headache, nor did the doctor say that it would…he said some patients find they have few or no more headaches right away, some find that they get a significant reduction in pain and frequency (what I was aiming for, I don’t expect miracles anymore) and for a smaller percentage they unfortunately have no effect.

    My migraines are -not- always behind the eyes/in the front…usually I have some pain behind the eye and in the temple but it also travels down the body to settle in the neck at its worst, and sometimes into the upper back as well. Just sort of a wall of pain that wants to be everywhere but my shoulders on up. In addition to the SPG treatments (which are painless, no big deal at all) He recommended me for PT at his practice to strengthen and stretch back and shoulder muscles, and gives me lidocaine ‘shots’ (they actually come from this weird air-gun thing) in the neck and upper back to loosen muscles.

    I’m optimistic, mostly hoping this will help me cut back on Triptans and rescue medications, as all of these treatments are considered ‘medication free’ and not potential contributors to an MOH cycle, or likely to mess with anything central in terms of side effects, its all just localized.

    I’d recommend giving it a try to those who are curious, and to anyone in the DC/DC Suburban MD/NoVA area who wants a particular recommendation, to check out this place, it is very caring, focused, and knowledgeable about headache in particular for a specific pain management clinic.

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    RachelRoo,
    Thanks so much for the update. It sounds like it’s working for you! I’m sure it’s nice to have some relief.

    I previously mentioned that there is a neurostimulator in clinical trials for cluster headache patients that targets the SPG. It’s not approved yet, but here’s some more info. If this works for you, it’s possible that the stimulator could work in the future. If you google SPG neurostimulator, you’ll find offers to participate in the trials. Just a thought.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3724276/

    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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