Finding Your Migraine Care Team

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For a patient with headache, the medical journey really may begin in different places. If someone has the first and worst headache of his life or her life or their life, they really should seek urgent care. For individuals who have recurring patterns of headaches, so maybe they have headaches that lasts 4 to 72 hours, which would be the time frame for migraine headaches in adults.

From someone who has that pattern, really, I think that individuals should start with their primary care physician. So I do think that for most women, because migraine is a disorder that's dramatically influenced by hormonal changes, estrogen fluctuation in particular, that those women with migraine really need to have the gynecologist as an important part of that team. I am convinced that no one can get superlative migraine care if they are not an actively participating patient, and that's when perhaps a patient can ask to be sent to-- in many cases, a neurologist.

So those would be sort of what I would think of as the core group if depression or anxiety is playing a major role in their lives. And then it may be very useful to have psychiatry be involved. If the psychiatrist doesn't feel the patient needs medication, so what about seeing a psychologist? Maybe the psychologist could work with an individual patient on a regimen that would help them cope. And then sometimes, that therapist can steer someone toward a mindfulness training or meditation training.

And then if someone has a lot of chronic back or neck pain, they may benefit from going to a physical therapist. If someone has just the craziest eating habits ever, they perhaps would benefit from seeing someone who is a nutritionist. So there are a lot of individuals who can be part of that based on what the patient's needs are, and that's what I love about this notion of a team is that everyone has a role to play and they need to understand that migraine in that patient are at the center of. [MUSIC PLAYING]