Although headaches are often grouped into one category, the reality is that there are many types of headaches: tension headaches, sinus headaches, cluster headaches, and migraines. Regardless of which type of headaches you have, the reality is that headaches — especially chronic ones — can be debilitating.
Our team of neurology specialists understands the complexities of headaches and how profoundly they can impact your quality of life. That’s why we offer a variety of headache treatments, including Botox® injections, peripheral nerve stimulation, and nerve blocks.
Below, we zero in on one type of headache treatment, neuromodulation, and how it can help alleviate headaches.
What is neuromodulation and how does it work?
Neuromodulation devices are medication devices that interact directly with your nerves. These devices are typically used to help manage chronic pain, and that includes chronic headaches.
Neuromodulation doesn’t refer to just one procedure or device. There are many different types of stimulation that fall under this category. The International Neuromodulation Society recognizes the following types of neuromodulation:
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Cervical spinal cord stimulation
- Deep brain stimulation
- Sacral nerve stimulation
- Transcranial Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS or rTMS)
Depending on the type of type device and the specific neuromodulation treatment you receive, mild electrical impulses affect (i.e., modulate) the specific nerves connected to your headaches. In other words, the treatments alter your nerves to prevent them from sending pain messages to your brain. Neuromodulation doesn’t cure any underlying medication condition, but it does improve your quality of life by interrupting your nerve’s ability to send pain signals to your brain.
Cervical spinal cord stimulation and headache relief
While the fine details of different types of neuromodulation vary, let’s explore how cervical spinal cord stimulation works. When you initially get started with cervical spinal cord stimulation, we first have to implant electrodes in your body to help modulate your nerves. After the electrodes are placed, you also need a small implantable generator. This device, which can be operated wirelessly, creates and controls the mild electrical impulses that target your nerves.
Together, the generator and the electrodes work to provide you with long-term relief.
Benefits of neuromodulation for headache relief
For those with chronic headaches or migraines, neuromodulation can be a beacon of hope. In addition to pain relief, there are many reasons to consider neuromodulation, including:
- There are no drugs required and it can even reduce your reliance on other pain medication
- It provides targeted (and adjustable) pain relief
- Limited side effects (again, this is a non-drug treatment)
Neuromodulation, including cervical spinal cord stimulation, is performed as a minimally invasive procedure. Should you require it, the procedure is completely reversible.
Is neuromodulation right for you?
If you’ve tried other headache treatments, including medication, Botox injections, dietary changes, or stress management techniques, but still struggle with chronic headaches, you might consider neuromodulation. Before you commit to neuromodulation, you can undergo a trial neuromodulation to make sure cervical spinal cord stimulation is right for you. If it’s not, we can explore other treatment options. If it is right for you, our team implants your electrodes and generators so you can continue to experience lasting relief.
To find out if neuromodulation is right for you, give us a call and schedule your appointment today. You can also use our online booking tool.