Primary Care Doctor
This is the person you see for your routine medical visits. A primary care physician may be a family doctor, internist, or an OB/GYN. It may even be a nurse practitioner. They may first diagnose your migraine and offer treatment. If you get headaches that are frequent, turn worse even with pain relievers, or interferes with your daily life, see your primary care doctor.
This doctor specializes in treating brain and nervous system disorders. Your primary care doctor may refer you to a neurologist if they think you need more advanced diagnosis or if your symptoms don’t get better. A neurologist may become your main headache doctor.
They also may tailor your treatment with migraine medicines, preventative medicines, abortive medicines, surgery, or other therapies. Your neurologist will guide you through your treatments.
Complementary Care Providers
Along with or instead of medications and other conventional treatments, you may want to try complementary and alternative therapies for migraine pain. These providers may include:
Acupuncturist. They use needle pricks on specific points on your skin to help ease pain. Studies suggest that acupuncture may help with migraines. Check that your acupuncturist is certified in your state or is otherwise qualified.
Biofeedback therapist. They use electronic devices to help you learn to control your breathing, heart rate, and other body functions. Biofeedback seems to work on lowering migraine pain. Psychologists, nurses, and physical therapists can perform biofeedback.
Homeopathic providers. They use plants, minerals, and other natural substances to make tinctures and other products to help the body heal itself. The evidence isn’t very strong that any homeopathic treatment works effectively for specific medical conditions.
They are not doctors but specialists in mental health. Psychologist may be part of your migraine care team for two main reasons:
- To suggest treatments to deal with migraines
- To help you manage the mental effects of migraine, such as stress and depression
Your psychologist can teach you relaxation strategies and tips to handle stress and pain. They may also work with you on your migraine triggers so that you can learn to handle daily activities with fewer interruptions.
Your diet often affects your migraines. Certain foods may trigger your head pain.
A nutritionist can help you create an eating plan for your migraines while making sure that you get all the nutrients you need.
Let your primary care doctor know if you’re seeing other medical professionals for your migraines. That helps your doctor better manage your overall care.