Summer Newsletter 2020
Orange County Migraine & Headache Center
Today is July 4th, a day we celebrate our country and our freedom. Due to COVID-19, this is a July 4th unlike any we have ever had in our country. The good news is that we will eventually have a vaccine and life can return to somewhat of a new “normal”.
Today can also be a time to celebrate freedom from migraine. Migraine still can not be “cured” but can be much more manageable due to new treatments for both acute & prevention of migraine attacks. These new treatments are target specific for what is happening during migraine and are better tolerated & more effective than prior treatments. New preventive treatments include the injectable CGRP monoclonal antibodies: Aimovig, Ajovy, and Emgality. Recently, the first CGRP monoclonal antibody for IV infusion every 3 months got approved; it is called Vyepti. Many of our patients feel as if they have their life back with this new category for prevention.
In addition, there are new medications for the acute treatment of migraine with or without aura and these include Ubrelvy, Nurtec, and Reyvow. All are target specific and good options if the triptan category (Sumatriptan, Rizatriptan, etc.) are not well-tolerated, not effective enough, or for those for whom the triptans are contraindicated due to coronary artery disease or peripheral vascular disease. Unlike the triptans, the new oral medications do not cause vasoconstriction and do not show any evidence of medication overuse headache.
Also, the newest device to come to the market for migraine is called Nerivio and is helping many patients with their migraine attacks. It is a non-invasive pain modulator worn on the upper arm for 45 minutes for a migraine attack. To learn more, watch this short video:
We also want to point out four non-pharmacologic approaches that have helped us personally as well as many of our patients. They include exercise, physical therapy, Pilates/yoga, and meditation/biofeedback/stress-reduction. Exercise in any form can be therapeutic. Dr. Hutchinson loves the out-of-doors so when her gym reopened and offered an Outdoor Cross-Fit Class, she signed up and loves it! In addition, she runs 3-4 miles every other day. Dr. Molly has a Peloton bike and loves the flexibility & convenience of working out from home. Pick what works for you….the important point is to pick and start an exercise routine. Your body including your migraines will thank you!
Posture can affect headache as well as neck pain. If you are suffering from neck pain, consider a physical therapy evaluation with Dr. Pete Rumford in Irvine. He is affiliated with IPA Physio and has helped both Dr. Hutchinson & Dr. Molly with 1:1 sessions. To learn more, go to https://ipa.physio/oc/
For Pilates, consider on-line classes such as offered by Streaming-Salt Pilates, at www.takemetosalt.com.
Lastly, for those wanting to learn more about the role of biofeedback & meditation in helping headache go to www.dawnbuse.com Dawn Buse is a psychologist who has done extensive research in the field of migraine as it related to biofeedback & mediation. Her website offers lots of helpful information and tools to do treatments like biofeedback on your own. Dr. Buse is a good friend of ours and we highly recommend her website.
In closing, we hope all of you stay healthy and as headache free as possible. We are here to help!
In good health,
Dr. Susan Hutchinson & Dr. Molly Rossknecht