Living With Migraines

Don’t let migraines get in the way of daily living

Minor Surgery cures Migraines

Posted by healthwyse on February 10, 2008

A new surgery developed in South Africa promises permanent pain relief from headahces and dramatically improves quality of life.

But only 1% or 2% of people who experience chronic daily headaches — typically migraines or tension headaches — require or qualify for the minor operation.

The study was led by Dr Elliot Shevel, director of the Headache Clinic and chairman of the SA Headache Society.

Phyllis Berger, author of the book The Journey to Pain Relief, says headaches are the second-most- common complaint at her Johannesburg pain management clinic, after back pain.

“Those who respond to surgery are very lucky but some patients don’t respond,” she says.

Bad posture is a source of headaches for many, and teeth grinding is also a problem, Berger says. Tension is another source and injuries from car accidents also give rise to headaches, even two to three years later.

“Most patients do respond to improved posture, doing exercise and treating inflammation and spasm of the neck muscles,” she says. “But often patients take so much medication that they get withdrawal headaches.”

“When we do it the results are life-changing. But we only offer people surgery if they can’t be helped by more conventional means,” he says.

Now the South African and Italian governments have agreed to fund further research on migraine surgery by Shevel and his Italian collaborator, Professor Carlo Cianchetti.


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