What comes first Headache Migraine, Anxiety or Depression?
You may be surprise to know that headache sufferers were almost 3 times as likely to be depressed than non-headache sufferers.
Let's talk a bit about headaches and migraines:
Headache sufferers either experience constant or near constant pain or severe pain. The only management appears to be medication, which at best relieves the pain, but doesn't change the cause and doctors is despairing (because he or she doesn't know what to do next!) not much hope is there.
So the only question is why, if the most headaches and migraine are neuromuscular (90%) base and the rest 10% is unknown, why the most common treatments is drugs???
Every time I hear that depression is causing migraine or headache I get really frustrated - I would be depressed if I went through what my patients were experiencing! By the way did you know that most patients who have a chronic headaches and migraines are on antidepressant medication?
Migraine and other forms of headache are significant stressors in themselves. However, it is more than coping with the pain, nausea, and vomiting etc. It is also about one's inability to participate in life - to be able to plan a social life.
Depression is not the cause of headache or migraine ... it results from it! It is amazing the change in a person's demeanor once their headache or migraine has not necessarily resolved, but just improved!
In my experience patients with headaches and migraine who started an aerobic exercise program or even walking or swimming get a significant reduction in depression related symptoms. This is not surprising as exercise encourages serotonin production that desensitizes the brainstem. Interestingly there was also an improvement in the headaches symptoms (Still present but my headaches was less severe!)
It is important to treat the neuromuscular dysfunction and keep headache patients exercising as well.
So, whatever age you happen to be, you can choose your treatment, either medication, neuromuscular therapy, or a combination of both, but if your headache is a Neuromuscular base, medication should not be the only treatment.
Stay healthy and happy!
Michael Pys NMT, Dipl. OMT
Hands-On Solutions to Headaches and Pain
2150 Pfingsten Rd. Suite 2200
Glenview IL 60025