Chronic Migraines Specialist

William  D. Stratford, MD -  - Headache Specialist

Your Migraine Care

William D. Stratford, MD

Headache Specialist & Board-Certified Psychiatrist located in Missoula, MT

Migraines are extremely common – in fact, 37 million Americans experience migraines. Chronic migraines may often be a medical disability, cause loss of work, and result in missed school time. They can be incapacitating and can deeply affect your participation in social and family outings. If you suffer from chronic migraines, you should seek the assistance of the expert team at Your Migraine Care, in Missoula, Montana, to address your chronic migraine issues. Call the office to book an appointment today.

Chronic Migraines

What is a migraine?

A migraine is a headache in which there is severe, recurring, throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. Migraines impact all ethnicities, ages, and genders, though women are affected more than men.

The causes of migraines are not completely known. Hereditary and environmental factors are contributors. Changes in neuronal interactions in pain pathways in the brain and chemical imbalances in pain regulators, like serotonin, and neurotransmitters, like calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), may also be involved.

Migraines are triggered by a variety of factors, including hormonal changes in women, medications, stress, foods, environmental factors, and more. Migraine symptoms include:

  • Visual disturbances; “aura”
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Unusual sensitivity to sound, light, touch, and smell
  • Tingling or numbness in the extremities or in the face

If you have these symptoms or risk factors, call the team at Your Migraine Care for an evaluation.

What are chronic migraines?

Chronic migraines are diagnosed when migraine headaches occur on 15 or more days per month, for more than three months.

Risk factors for chronic migraine include overuse of migraine medication, obesity, depression, stressful life events, age, and being female.

How are chronic migraines diagnosed?

Patients are asked to keep a diary to report on and describe all headaches, not just the serious ones, to aid in the diagnosis of chronic migraine.

The team performs physical and neurological exams, searches for underlying conditions and evaluates medical history, medication use, and psychological factors. Additional tests or imaging may be recommended.

How are chronic migraines treated?

Treatments for chronic migraines include:

  • Pain-relieving medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers, triptans, dihydroergotamines, and opioids.
  • Preventive medications to reduce the frequency of headaches, including blood pressure drugs, antidepressants, antiseizure drugs, and Botox®.
  • Newer, preventive procedures like calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies (CGRP block) using the SphenoCath®.
  • Non-medication measures, including biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, and dietary and lifestyle changes.

The expert team at Your Migraine Care is dedicated to staying up-to-date on the most effective, innovative approaches to treating chronic migraines. After a full evaluation, the team will discuss which of these approaches might be right for you.

To get treatment for your chronic migraines, call the team at Your Migraine Care today to make an appointment.