Yes, Fibromyalgia and Migraine are Strongly Linked

Another study has confirmed the link between fibromyalgia and migraine, with some interesting side notes.

The study was actually comparing chronic migraine (CM) and chronic tension-type headache (CTTH) with fibromyalgia, to see which were more connected. There was a connection with both – over a quarter of the patients with CTTH also had fibromyalgia. But for CM, over 2/3 had fibromyalgia!

Fibromyalgia and Chronic MigraineSome patients are so focused on one condition that they don’t take the time to consider the other. It’s very important to realize that you may be struggling with more than one condition, requiring more than one treatment. (For more, see Is Migraine a “Symptom” of Fibromyalgia?)

CM patients with fibromyalgia also experienced “increased frequency of photophobia, phonophobia, anxiety, depression, and insomnia”. Another reason why both conditions need to be taken seriously. This connection was not seen in the patients with CTTH.

Strictly on the fibromyalgia side, the fibro tended to have a higher impact on life if the patient also had chronic migraine.

It is very helpful to talk to your doctor if you think you may be dealing with more than one condition. There may be excellent treatments that can help with both. The more you know, the more you can choose the right treatment for you.

For more on this study, read: Fibromyalgia Among Patients With Chronic Migraine and Chronic Tension-Type Headache


Botox Migraine Treatment for Children?

A report at this year’s annual meeting of The American Society of Anesthesiologists focused on whether or not onabotulinumtoxinA, often sold under the brand name of Botox, is useful in treating migraine in children. As we know, there are a limited number of treatments that have been properly tested for the under-18 crowd.

Children with chronic migraineThe report simply reviewed charts of people ages 8-17 who had received Botox treatment to treat chronic migraine. Patients received 2-3 injections each.

The results were very promising. Compared to pre-treatment, almost 3/4 of the patient’s migraine attacks disappeared. The duration of the attacks also dropped drastically, and the attacks tended to be less severe. Read the study abstract here: A Longitudinal Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Botox® in Pediatric Patients Experiencing Migraines.

There are at least two significant caveats with this report. First, there is a high “placebo effect” with the younger crowd. It would be helpful to compare onabotulinumtoxinA treatments with similar treatments to see if it’s really a lot better or not. One key here is to see what kinds of side effects could be avoided by using Botox instead of another treatment, such as Topamax.

This was also a very small study, only 9 patients. So when we have a study like this, we basically say,”Ok, that sounds significant. Let’s start up a larger study so we can see if these results are real, or just a blip on the chart.”

Even a small study like this should get specialists thinking seriously about using onabotulinumtoxinA for their chronic migraine patients.

More on Botox treatment here.


So – Should I Exercise Less?

One of the interesting revelations at the 18th Congress of the International Headache Society this September in Vancouver was that we should seriously think about exercising less. Well, for less time. Sort of.

Exercise PartnersMost of us already know that the most amazing “pill” to take to keep the migraine monster at bay is exercise. Just a little more movement every week can make a huge difference over time.

But those who want to get some serious exercise in over the course of a week often have a problem. Well, a few problems maybe. But for the purpose of this article, the problem is time. Where in our busy (and often migraine-interrupted) schedules are we ever going to find time?

Yes, we know that the exercise will pay off – fewer migraine days, more energy, being more alert and productive. But sometimes that isn’t enough to motivate us.

But this study out of Switzerland might help a little.

The study of 20 women and 4 men included two different exercise plans:

  • 45 minutes twice per week = 90 minutes per week
  • 28 minutes twice per week = 56 minutes per week

Both groups saw a significant improvement – fewer migraine days. But the second group experienced a MUCH greater improvement.

What’s the catch? Well, the catch – sort of – is that both groups burned the same number of calories. In other words, the second group had more intense exercise.

You can read the actual details of the two types of exercise here: High-Intensity Training Bests Moderate Exercise for Migraine

The group that improved the most used HIT, or high-intensity interval training . But remember, they exercised less per week and had a much better result. In fact, over a year, they would exercise for 26.5 hours less than the other group – that’s more than a day of your life. (Actually, almost two days, depending on how much sleep you get!)

Why the difference? Lead author Alice Minghetti explains:

After you do high-intensity training, your body for a long period has to have certain adaptations in your system, so you need more oxygen after the workout than you do when you have just continuous, moderate-pace exercise. So especially for people who are busy or actually enjoy high intensity…it’s a better exercise regimen.

The drawback for migraine patients is that our brains don’t like change. Sudden changes such as those in high intensity training could trigger attacks in some. But remember, these were migraine patients. And even with that issue, headache days were fewer with either kind of exercise.

So, if you can, give it a try. If you just can’t – increase your exercise – or any kind of movement – little by little. It may be your best treatment.


Congratulations to our Winner!

Congratulations to the winner of four NatureLux Fluorescent Light Filters – Eric, from Reading, PA, USA! Eric will be receiving 4 premium flourescent light filters which he hopes to use in his office. I hope they’re a help to you, Eric!

If you would like more information about NatureLux filters, be sure to check out the original article here: Reduce Harsh Fluorescent Lighting (and a chance to WIN!)


The “Migraine Barometer” is back…

Long time visitors of this website might be aware of the very popular but sometimes hard to get migraine barometer. In this case, playing hard to get is not a good thing, but we’re hoping that we have a better supply line now.

The Migraine Barometer - 2017I’ll point you below to the ample information that is already available regarding this barometer, but here’s the short story for newbies.

The barometer is actually a super-accurate electronic barometer designed for marine use. This is not your cheap store bought brand.

The barometer allows you to track changes in pressure, so that you can a) see what type of weather affects your migraine attacks and b) possibly take early preventative action to avoid or lessen the attack.

For more information, check out: