Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Tuesday, November 04, 2008 Lisa, Community Member, asks

Q: What do you do when your doctors won't help take your migraine pain away?

What do you do when your doctors won't help take your pain away?

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Answers (11)
Eileen Gray, Health Guide
11/ 7/08 10:10pm

Hi Lisa!  


I think Clare said it best! Find a new doctor! We have a list on our site: Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists. You may want to check out Migraine and Headache Specialists: What's So Special? as well.  


A couple other good resources on our site: We have a choice of download-able Migraine and Headache Diaries! This is a very valuable tool when tracking your Migraines, figuring out your triggers and when talking with your doctor about frequency. It also makes it a lot easier for tracking what medications you have taken to avoid Medication Overuse Headache, aka Rebound Headache. If you are unfamiliar with MOH, check out Medication Overuse Headache: When Remedy Backfires.   I know first hand how hard it can be finding a good doctor that not only understands you, but is willing to really help! It is very important that we are active in our health care! Your Role On Your Health Care Team is a great tool for learning exactly what we need to do to get proper medical treatment. No one should have to suffer and deal with inadequate care.  


I also want to encourage you to visit our forum, that you can get to HERE. You can also reach the forum from the main page of the site by clicking "Migraine Forums" under the orange "manage" box.  


Good Luck!

Eileen Gray  

Clare, Community Member
11/ 6/08 7:21am

Find a new doctor.

midnite, Community Member
11/ 6/08 8:03am

I go back threw all the imformation this site has given me and talk to him again about some other form of meds ..Because there's alot I can't take due to the stentd in my heart. Or I ask to be referred to another doctor.

        That's where I am again now. Just had second round of MRI & MRA done-boy do I hate them.


deblojo13, Community Member
11/ 6/08 8:55am

My doctor only gives me enough pain medicine to last for about 1/2 month in a month!  So I just have to grit my teeth and bear it and hope the Excedrin will take the edge off!!  I also sometimes take Klonopin that my psychiatrist has prescribed for me to ease the anxiety that often comes with my migraines.  I also have Bipolar/Anxiety disorder...what a combination, huh??

Best of luck...change your doctor if that is possible.  Are you seeing a Neurologist for your migraines...that's who I go to.

Jen, Community Member
11/ 6/08 9:26am

I just keep going to more doctors and I do more research. I recently had a nerve block at the base of my skull, the occipital nerve. This has helped "a little", therefore in a month they are going in to burn the nerve, its called Radio Frequency apalation. Hopefully the nerve won't grow back for 3 - 6 months and I could have less headaches. I have also ordered a Alpha stim unit, to help with anixety, insomnia, depression and maybe perhaps my headaches. I can't wait to try it. Medication doesn't seem to work on my daily headaches nor do ANY doctors I have been to know what causes them. I have been to 6 different doctors in the past 6 weeks and have had many tests. I just keep ruling them out. I also went to an allergist and ENT. So keep trying.

Lifetime migraine pain, Community Member
11/ 6/08 10:53am

In my experience, I have searched for another doctor.  One that recognizes the severity of my suffering, the physical problems that result from the migraine and that is willing to understand my individual characteristics and treat them accordingly. 


If your doctor can not comprehend or relate to you with compassion and at least empathy for what you are dealing with, then leave (as soon as you can drive) and find someone who meets your needs.




Lou Ann Hayes

Colleen B, Community Member
11/ 6/08 11:00am

My previous doctor just kept putting me on med after med after med.  My current doctor and his nurse practitioner at Neurohealth in Warwick, RI have been lifesavers for me.  When I started with the NP, she took me off all meds that I was on.  She cleaned out my system and started from scratch.  She explains things to me.  She shows me pictures.  She tells me how things work.  She takes me step by step through whatever we are going through.  Right now I am on a combination of Lexapro/Piroxicam/Propranolol.  I'm 41 years old.  I've had migraines since about 16.  For the first time in my life I am finally with an office who has managed to get my migraines under control.  They are not completely gone, but they are greatly reduced - from a few a week to 1 or 2 a month.  We are still working on a way to deal with the pain when they do manage to come, but from working on the preventative end, my doctor and NP, especially my NP, has greatly improved my quality of life.

Kim, Community Member
11/ 6/08 1:52pm

I have had cluster headaches for well over 5 years now, and got very littel help from  my doctor to find relief. I find that traditional migrane medicines, like Imitrex, do not help me any more than Alieve, Excederin or Motrin, and they gave me a very "icky" feeling, so I did not taking them at work. I did a lot of research on alternative ways to ease the pain and I found Acupuncture. I have only been a couple of times so far, but the results have been AMAZING!!! On my very first visit, I literally felt the pain easing. It was instantaneous! The headache did not completely go away, but (on a scale of 1 - 10) it went from an 8 to a 3. I have also found, over the past few weeks, that I am getting the headaches less frequently. I went from having them 5-6 days a week, to 2-3.


I highly recommend anyone with migranes or cluster headaches to give acupuncture a try. It DOES NOT hurt in any way, and it can help with many other issues as well. Plus, my insurance does cover a portion of the cost.

DJ, Community Member
11/ 6/08 2:41pm

Firstly considering changing doctors (if you can). Pain management treatment is a fundamental human right and I'm sure that doctors are aware that migraines can be treated, they just may only be aware of a few basic medications.


But if you can't, or find that all doctors have the same attitude, print off some information from this site, Terri has an article on how there are now 100 medications that will treat migraine. Here is a link to an article that you could take along that talks of prophylatic and various treatment options. Also see if you can take someone with you to medical appointments so that they can indeed advocate on your behalf in relation to needing treatment.


Also ask on these boards for recommendations to a suitable migraine specialist as if your GP won't help then ask for a referral to one. Having details will increase the chances of getting referral.


Finally if nothing else works consider lodging a complaint against the doctors who won't assist you.

mamanet, Community Member
11/ 6/08 11:39pm

I was admitted to the hospital for migraines and the doctor gave me medication I told her I could not take.  I have an allergy to triptans and she decided to try me on some "new medication".  It was Imitrex and I thought I would die.  I checked myself out of the hospital, not really a good idea considering how much pain I was in.  I had spent 2 days in the hospital with no relief.  About 3 hours later, I went back to the ER.  Well, the doctors would not treat me because I had checked myself out.  They messed around for about 3 hours and decided to transfer me to another hospital.  I spent 5 more days in that hospital.  I had CAT scans and MRI's along with a lumbar puncture.  Everything came back okay.  I was having a reaction to the triptans and a severe migraine.  I had a PIC line inserted to give me DHE.  They tried IV Depakote, but it did no good.  The DHE did the trick.  I think I must have seen 30 doctors before they decided to give me 200 mg of Topamax daily and I have been taking 60 mg of Cymbalta for the migraines.  This combination has actually been doing very well for me.  I am certainly glad I went to a different hospital with different doctors.  My first doctor was giving me morphine to dull the pain, but nothing to take the migraine pain away.

Marusia, Community Member
11/10/08 9:12pm

Frova typically helps me, especially if I have a possibility to stay quiet for a while on a sofa or even fall asleep. But if I run out of tablets or have to wait until my doctor approves prescription for farmacy to give me refill of migraine medicine, I have to cope with splitting headaches by myslef. What do I do? Typically I take a shower and wash my head with really hot water. I massage my back in the shoulder-neck area as intense as possible. This does not always help radically to get rid of headache, but it makes my migraine pain easier for a while. When I have no possibility of having a hot shower at the beginning of a migraine, I put a very tight band of a slightly wet towel around my head, and do a massage of my neck and shoulders with my hands. I have noticed that before migraine attack I always feel pain in neck-shoulder muscles.

Also, when I have a migraine, I cannot eat anything, but I make myself eat an apple or drink hot tea with a lemon. This helps me to feel a little better, especially when my migraine is caused by a rapid weather change from warm to cold.

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By Lisa, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/11/14, First Published: 11/04/08