Pros And Cons Of Interventional Anesthetic Injections For Migraines

Posted on: 18 May 2018

If you suffer from migraines, there are a wide range of treatments and management protocols that you and your doctor can explore and try. Different approaches work for different patients. One approach that your doctor may recommend, especially if your migraines are linked to muscle tightness in the neck, is interventional anesthetic injections. This treatment plan involves injecting a pain reliever into certain trigger points along the muscles in the back of your neck. As with all migraine remedies, there are pros and cons to this approach.

Pro: There are few side effects associated with anesthetic injections.

Many prescription migraine remedies have a long list of possible side effects, which can range from nausea to increased blood pressure. Anesthetic injections, on the other hand, are usually side-effect-free. Some patients have mild pain at the injection site, but this does not last more than a day or two, and it should not keep you from working or satisfying other life obligations.

Con: Anesthetic injections only work when muscle tension is to blame for your migraines.

Sometimes, your doctor may surmise that your migraines are related to muscle tension, when that is not really the case. If your migraines have another cause and you get the anesthetic injections, you may not notice an improvement in symptoms. The only real way to know if the injections will work is by trying one.

Pro: Anesthetic injections are quick and easy for your doctor to administer.

The injections can be administered within a few minutes during an outpatient procedure. Your doctor will inject you, and then you will need to be observed for 30 minutes or so. Following this brief observation period, which is essential to making sure the anesthesia really takes effect, you can return home or to work. You can even drive yourself.

Con: Anesthetic injections do not last very long.

At most, these injections tend to last about two weeks. Some patients need to be injected weekly in order to keep their migraines at bay. Over time, as your neck muscles learn to relax, you may need injections less often. Still, having to visit the doctor for regular injections can be a scheduling burden for some patients.

To learn more about anesthetic injections for migraine relief, talk to your doctor. This is a rather new approach to treating migraines, but it is working well for many patients whose stiff neck muscles lead to migraine pain. For more information, contact a specialist like Joel D Stein DO PA.