Some of my clients that have sustained severe neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries or TMJ due to their face striking the steering wheel may suffer recurring headaches and migraines for the rest of their life. Their primary physician may do little more than prescribe a litany of medications. The concept of taking pain medication for decades does not sit well with everyone.
More and more, I am meeting people who have concerns regarding using pain medication on a long-term basis. Some of them feel this way as they worry of potential consequences that can occur with the the long term use of pain medications which can include: addiction, gastrointestinal bleeding, and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. There has been a growing number of people who desire to keep their body ‘clean’ and use treatments that are natural, organic or homeopathic. Other people have battled addiction issues in the past and are unable to use medication. Others respond poorly to the prescribed medication. The side effects may be just as bad or worse for them than the headache itself. Others have allergic reactions. If a woman is pregnant, planning pregnancy or nursing, she may avoid prescribed narcotics.
Can I treat my headaches naturally? Yes. Please discuss with a medical provider your injuries to determine what natural remedy will work best for you.
Natural treatment may include physical treatment such as acupuncture, cervical manipulation, mobilization therapy and massage. These treatments have all demonstrated significant reduction in headaches or at the very least in the intensity of the headaches. In regards to acupuncture, the Canadian Medical Association Journal published a study where 500 adults participated in acupuncture. Of the participants, part of them received traditional acupuncture and part of them received ‘sham’ acupuncture (needles inserted in nonspecific points.) The participant were not told which they were receiving. Both groups initially reported a decrease of 50% in the number of migraines they experienced a month. However, three months later, those participants who received traditional acupuncture continued to report benefits. Namely, a reduction in the intensity, frequency and number of migraines experienced monthly. Those who experienced the ‘sham’ acupuncture did not.
Many medical providers will advise lifestyle changes to decrease headaches. Often this include exercise. If a person has also experienced severe spinal injuries, their ability to exercise may be limited. However, many therapists can provide exercises that will not strain the spine which may include pool therapy. Yoga is another low impact exercise that helps relax both the muscles and the mind which often results in less pain.
Pain from an injury creates physiological reactions such as uneven blood flow or muscle contractions. These reactions contribute to an increase in our pain intensity or frequency. Biofeedback training can help counteract these tendencies. What can you expect if you choose to undergo biofeedback therapy? A therapist will attach electrical sensors to different parts of your body to monitor the tension in your muscles, your temperature, heart rate and brain waves. The therapists train you to change your thoughts, behavior and emotions which will relax your muscles and decrease your pain. For more information, including medical studies performed on biofeeback therapy, see this link.
Other natural remedies include magnesium supplements, riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Coenzyme Q10, and increased folate intake.
I’m Ed Smith of Edward A Smith Law Offices. I describe myself as a ‘holistic lawyer’ not just because I support holistic and homeopathic remedies but because I believe a person should seek treatment that is best for their being not just for their symptoms. I have a library of books, self guided imagery CD’s and other resources dealing with pain management in a natural way that I readily make available to those who are interested. Having worked with injured Californians for more than 30 years and having experienced several life altering experiences myself, I empathize with people experiencing pain. Clients seek my help to recover their damages and economic losses related to injuries. While this work is satisfying I feel better when I know that my client’s have tools to help them deal with their pain.
To reach me, please call (916) 921-6400, (800) 404-5400 or through my website, www.AutoAccident.com.
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