Patients Recognize a Wide Variety of Treatments

Our latest poll asked the question:  Which of these (ie medications, supplements, other treatments) have been the biggest help to you?

At first the results may sound like a big yawn – predictably, medication was the runaway winner.  So, it seems, more people have found help through medication than through anything else.

Google Chart

But wait – the news is both better and worse for medications.  First, you can see right away that either medications, or medications combined with something else, were the runaway winners.  86% included medication as something that has helped.

But another interesting point – most people were not helped by medication alone.  Let’s look at the chart that way:

Google Chart

So in actual fact, most people were helped by medication plus something else, or else by something other than medication.

Of those, the biggest chunk were helped by medications + supplements + another treatment!

Let’s look at this one more way.  What percentage of people found either supplements, medications, or other treatments, to be helpful?  Here’s what the results look like:

Google Chart

It’s tempting to say,"Oh, medications help the most people – I’ll focus on those!"  But here’s the thing – there really is no clear winner here.  If anything, the winner is variety.  For example, let’s see how it looks if we do combinations vs single treatment:

Google Chart

Now you could argue that certain things may skew the results.  After all, the millions of dollars of promotion in the medical wold goes to the medications.  Then again, supplements (like magnesium, probiotics) and other treatments (like acupuncture, biofeedback) have a huge popular following.

But when push comes to shove, it’s clear that there is no one thing that works for everyone when it comes to migraine and chronic headache.  It’s often medication, but not always.  It’s often one thing, but often a combination (I would argue that it has to be a combination, if you’re working toward total health).

When we talk about the hundreds of treatments for migraine (for example), we’re not just talking about drugs (though there are a lot of those!) or supplements (lots of those too, well researched and effective) or other treatments (lots of those, including lifestyle changes).  We’re also talking about combinations.

That’s why you can never try every possible treatment in your lifetime.  And I’m not talking about quack treatments – I’m talking about well researched treatments that are helping real people.

Of course there are a lot of issues wrapped up in that – how to chose good treatments and not waste time and money on bad ones, how to safely combine treatments, and so on.  But when all is said and done, that is the state of headache and migraine treatment, and this poll reflects it.  There’s no silver bullet – but there are good treatments.  Don’t give up!

Here are the full results:

Medications alone:  44%
Meds, supplements and other treatments combined:  21%
Meds and Supplements combined:  11%
Other treatments with meds:  10%
Other treatments alone:  9%
Supplements alone:  4%
Other treatments with supplements:  1%

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2 comments… add one
  • Emily Nov 9, 2010

    Very interesting numbers!!! Very interesting presentation! Thanks for making it so visual somehow it makes it easier to understand.

  • Ginny Mar 28, 2011

    I am helped tremendously by medication when a migraine hits. I am currently taking a generic form of Imitrex and that with prescription ibuprofen helps most times. But, the doctors continually tell me that it isn’t good to take the medication so often. So I am continually waiting until the last minute to take the meds which sometimes is too late. Any others with this problem. I’ve been a migraine sufferer for 17 years but since age 50 (I am 56 now) they have been worse and more frequent than before.

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