About 39 million people in the U.S. suffer from migraines, including both adults and kids. While both men and women can have migraine headaches, they occur a lot more often in women than in men — about three times as often. Migraines can vary not just in their severity and in the symptoms they cause, but also in how often they occur. Many people experience these debilitating headaches many times a month, a condition called chronic migraine. Regardless of how often your migraines occur, two things are certain: The symptoms they cause can be debilitating, and they can take a major toll on your health and your quality of life.
At The Vanguard Clinic, we offer state-of-the-art treatment options for our patients who suffer from migraines, including the innovative MiRx® Protocol, a novel treatment approach that addresses the root cause of migraine symptoms. Here’s how it works.
Targeting the nerve cluster
Migraine headaches involve nerves inside your head. When these nerves become irritated or overstimulated, they can send out pain responses and cause other symptoms, like nausea, extreme sensitivity to light or smell, and even vision symptoms, like tunnel vision or blurry vision. Lots of factors can cause nerve irritation or overstimluation, including internal triggers like emotional stress and anxiety or external triggers like odors.
The nerves involved in migraines meet or travel through a “cluster” called the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG), which is located at the very back of the sinuses. The SPG allows signal transmission between the major nerves that pass through it, which is important for activating and coordinating many physiological responses. But it also makes it easier for one overstimulated or “angry” nerve to affect the others, resulting in more severe pain and other symptoms associated with migraine headaches.
In these headaches, the key is to calm the SPG and to block “cross-talk” between nerves so symptoms can actually be prevented. Research shows “blocking” the nerve signals is very effective in relieving migraine pain, often within seconds. But to do that, you need an easy way to reach the nerve cluster. And since it’s located in an awkward spot, reaching it without an invasive intervention has been difficult.
MiRx: Innovative delivery for effective relief
The MiRx Protocol is a two-step treatment plan that’s focused both on providing immediate relief for migraine pain and preventing migraines in the future. At the heart of the protocol is the MiRx nasal spray. The spray delivers a dose of numbing anesthetic medication directly to the area of the SPG, halting the abnormal nerve activity that causes migraine pain. What makes MiRx different is the design of the spray applicator.
Because the SPG is located in a difficult-to-reach spot, normal nasal sprays can’t be effective in treating painful symptoms. But the MiRx uses a special application with a soft, flexible extension that enables the medication to target and reach the SPG. Although the applicator design looks a bit like a syringe, there are no needles — just a liquid spray. The treatment takes a few seconds and it’s completely painless. And the result: almost instant pain relief.
That’s the first part of the protocol. The second part is focused on learning how to prevent migraines from occurring. Depending on your exam results and medical history, the second part of the protocol might include interventions like physical therapy, stress management, dietary changes, or other medical and lifestyle elements aimed at providing a truly customized approach to your care. While you might opt only for the nasal spray part of the MiRx Protocol, the two components of treatment are designed to work together for optimal, long-term results.
While some patients enjoy long-term relief from their migraine symptoms after just one treatment, most benefit from a series of treatments performed over about six weeks. Patients with a long history of chronic migraines might need additional treatments to overcome their symptoms.
Don’t let migraine pain control your life. To learn how the MiRx Protocol treatment at The Vanguard Clinic can help you relieve pain and even prevent headaches, book an appointment online today.