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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Headaches: Reducing Drug Use

Many headache sufferers rely on painkilling medications to treat symptoms. Unfortunately, drug use for headache pain is problematic for several reasons. Some problems with the use of painkillers may include:

• Medications treat pain while ignoring the cause of the problem;

• Addiction;

• Damage to the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys; and

• Rebound headaches, a phenomenon in which the treatment actually causes a recurrence of the original complaint.

What is the alternative to drug use? Many patients suffering from headaches often find relief with the help of a Physiatrist (a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation). This type of doctor is concerned with the non-surgical treatment and management of pain related to the nerves, muscles, and bones of the body.

Physiatrists often recommend the use of a combination of therapies, including physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic (all of which are offered at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation). When these more conservative therapies have been exhausted, and headache symptoms persist, Physiatrists may perform minimally invasive procedures such as Trigger Point Injections or Epidural Steroid Injections.