This June on PainDoctor.com, we looked at many different populations of head pain patients and shared relevant new research about these populations, suggested traditional and alternative treatment methods for everyone, and encouraged each patient to find community, no matter who they are or what condition they face.
New research on head pain
Managing a head pain condition begins with knowledge.
Since June is Migraine Awareness Month, one of our posts this month focused on the top ten facts about migraines, including:
- Migraines are more common than you think
- Migraines are expensive
- Suicide attempts for young adults with migraines were three to six times higher than those without migraine
- Migraine sufferers take two and a half times as many prescription drugs as non-migraine sufferers
- The success of a migraine treatment may depend on your doctor
- Some natural cures may help prevent and treat migraine pain
- Silent migraines are a thing
- Migraines and allergies are linked
- Pharmaceutical approaches to migraine focus on both prevention and treatment
- Some of the most creative, dynamic people in history suffered from migraine pain
If you want to learn more about any of these topics, head on over to the post to read more! We delved into even more new migraine research in our “4 New Findings From Migraine Research” post, which discussed new advances in neck treatments and topical NSAIDs. For those who suffer from migraines, our post “Migraine Pain: It’s Not Just A Headache” can be a helpful resource for loved ones who don’t understand the difference between your pain and a “normal headache.”
If our research post didn’t scratch your itch for the cutting-edge discoveries scientists are making every day about head pain management and treatment, head over to “The Science Behind Headaches” post that unravels some of the research studies that deal with head pain as a whole, rather than only migraines. From Botulinum treatments to innovative eyelid surgeries that may reduce head pain, you’ll read about studies published in the last few months that give new insights into head pain. Or, read our “What We Talk About When We Talk About Pain” post to learn about the ways our brain actually remembers, processes, and experiences pain.
Finally, one of the most contentious topics in head pain management is opioids. We gathered some of the latest study results from leading research organizations, such as the National Institutes of Health, to delve into the question: “Are We Living Through An Opioid Epidemic?” Our verdict? Yes. However, we also think opioids can be used responsibly by both doctors and patients with enough oversight and after trying other options. Read our post on the topic to learn more about our stance.
A spotlight on men’s health
We know that men and women experience pain in many of the same ways, but there are discrepancies in care and treatment. (These discrepancies affect transgender individuals as well.) While we’ve talked about these challenges for women, we’ve yet to discuss some of the challenges for men in healthcare. Since June contains both National Men’s Health Week and Father’s Day, we spent some time writing about these. As we noted in our “Prioritizing National Men’s Health Week” post:
“The stereotype of men as strong, silent types who suffer heroically is pervasive in the U.S., and this results in men and boys visiting doctors less often than they should for both treatment and preventative care.”
Talking about family history with the men in your life and knowing the diseases that disproportionately affect men is one way to get started on proactive and comprehensive healthcare for men. It’s just as important to begin following the “5 Health Screening Recommendations For Men,” including testing for:
- Blood pressure
- Cholesterol and heart health
- Lung, prostate, or colon cancer
We also gave some tips on turning a “manly” diet into a healthy one in our “Eat This, Not That” feature this month. Finally, there are additional ways to care for the men in your life on Father’s Day. We discussed tips for dads with chronic pain, as well as gift ideas for those dads in pain.
Find your community
Different pain populations require different treatment methods. We encourage you to find your community no matter where they are.
In “9 Things People In Chronic Pain Want You To Know,” we created a list of statements that make for an easy education piece to share with family and friends. Even better, we included some submitted responses to our question: “What do you want to thank your family and friends for doing well?”
We also profiled blogger extraordinaire, ChronicBabe, this month. If her message resonated with you, we encourage you to check out her community and get involved. If it didn’t, we know you’ll be able to find a community through the other bloggers we’ve featured or in our Facebook support group for chronic pain patients.
Manage your head pain
No matter your community, there are some proven ways to manage head pain. We’ve discussed these this month, as well as treatment advice for specific populations. Our head pain treatment posts included:
- Hispanics And Health: An Update: Learn about the unique challenges and treatment discrepancies facing Hispanics, as well as initiatives that are working to fix this.
- Meditation Is All In Your Head: Meditation has been scientifically proven to help in head pain management and prevention. Find out how to get started with a meditation routine of your own!
- How Can Stress Lead To Head Pain?: Meditation works so well because stress is so commonly associated with head pain. Learn how to reduce your own stress and, hopefully, your pain.
- Connections Between Whiplash And Chronic Pain: If you’ve suffered from an injury that resulted in whiplash, learn about ways to reduce your risk of developing chronic neck pain associated with it.
- Ramadan: Observing The Fast With A Chronic Condition: Ramadan, a fasting holiday for Muslims, is a holy time of year. Find out how you can take part in this celebration safely if you suffer from a chronic condition.
- Reducing Risk: Concussion And Head Injury: How can you reduce your risk of head injury? Read this post especially if you have kids or engage in contact sports.
- Can Contraception Or Menstruation Cause Head Pain?: Yes! Women face two unique risk factors for developing head pain: contraception and menstruation. Both have been tied to increased levels of head pain. Learn what types of head pain are associated with them and how you can reduce your head pain from each.
What was your favorite post on Pain Doctor this month?
Image by Abhijit Kar Gupta via Flickr