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Migraine Treatment

Posted by on in Migraine Treatment


At Advanced Radiology, we know that migraine triggers can vary from person to person. Stress, fluorescent lighting, certain smells and changes in the weather can all trigger the onset of head pain. But what about cheese?

Can Cheese Cause Migraines?

Yes. Some types of cheese can cause migraines in some people. The cheeses linked to migraines are certain aged or fermented varieties high in tyramine. Tyramine is a protein byproduct and contributes to migraines because it causes narrowing of the blood vessels. When blood vessels narrow, blood pressure increases and causes headaches and migraines. 

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Posted by on in Migraine Treatment


Financial worries are one of the top 10 causes of stress, but they may also be one of the biggest contributors to migraines, according to a study co-authored by researchers at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, and the University of Manchester.

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American and Dutch scientists have found that stripes trigger migraines in some patients. The study is the first of its kind to link a pattern to the condition.

And it's not just stripes on clothing that can cause migraine symptoms, according to the study - stripes on animals like the zebra, stripes in art or architecture, and even bar codes were also proven to cause head pain for some study participants. Other individuals experienced migraines triggered by the seemingly innocuous striped patterns of awnings, lawn chairs and radiators.

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Here’s a fact that may surprise you: People who suffer from migraines sneeze more than people who don’t suffer from migraines. It’s true. It happens because migraine sufferers experience higher rates of rhinitis than people without migraines. Dr. Budler often talks to patients with migraines who report the symptoms of rhinitis along with migraine pain.

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For most people living with migraines really doesn’t mean living as much as it means managing your migraines and the pain they bring. Many migraine sufferers adopt strategies or develop coping mechanisms to handle their head pain in order to get some relief. You may be able to stop migraines before they start with these prevention strategies from Dr. Budler.

Recognize your triggers. Migraines happen when the trigeminal nerve is stimulated. The trigeminal nerve is the main nerve of the face and head and helps to control actions like chewing and blinking. When this nerve is stimulated, it sends messages to other facial nerves to start a pain response. Because the triggers that kick off migraines vary widely from person to person, it is important to understand your specific triggers so you can avoid them. Some examples of common migraine triggers include different foods, food preservatives, perfumes, fluorescent lighting, and stress. Some patients keep a journal of their diets, behaviors, and environmental experience as a way to track and find out their triggers so they can help reduce exposure and possibly reduce migraines.


Stop Smoking. Smoking can also be a trigger for migraines. It can cause the trigeminal nerve and other nerves to activate, which can kick off a pain response. Also, smoking is just really bad for you and can increase your risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.


Get moving. Increasing the frequency in which you exercise may help head off your next headache. Physical activity has been found to be beneficial in reducing tension, which can cause severe headaches. Migraine patients are cautioned to first discuss their plans for exercise with their doctors and to ease into their new activity routine slowly. This is because exercise that is high intensity can actually bring on a migraine. Also, adding in exercise to your routine at random is also discouraged, because it can also trigger headaches. Establish a walk, jog, or swim routine that you can stick to b2ap3_thumbnail_headacheAAW.jpghelp reduce tension and headache pain.


These strategies for prevention may not work for all the time and may not work for all migraine sufferers. Prevention strategies, in combination with self-care treatments, may only provide temporary relief from pain. Dr. Budler offers SPG block therapy for migraine patients for long lasting benefits.


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b2ap3_thumbnail_migraine.jpgAny migraine sufferer knows that migraines are more than just headaches – they are disabling, painful episode that impacts their daily life. 38 million Americans suffer from migraines each year. Many people living with migraines try to manage their symptoms with over the counter medications, maintenance prescription medications, and other self-care treatments. Some patients are turning to interventional medicine for treatments like sphenopalatine ganglion nerve blocks administered by a SphenoCath catheter, in hopes of treating their migraines and ending their pain.

Migraines are neurological attacks characterized by severe and often debilitating head pain on one or both sides of the head and can include vomiting, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. Many migraine patients have sound and smell sensitivity during attacks, and some also experience visual disturbances called auras while having an episode. Migraine attacks can last four hours or more, and in some cases as long at 72 hours.

The cause of migraines was originally thought to be blood vessels dilating in the head and pressing against the brain. New research has found that the dilation of the blood vessels may not be the cause of the pain, but happen as a response to activity occurring with the trigeminal nerve.

The trigeminal nerve is the largest and most complex nerve in the cranium, and supplies feeling to the face and head. It also provides the motor function needed for chewing. The trigeminal nerve is made up of both sensory and autonomic nerves. Autonomic nerves are responsible for involuntary reactions in the face in response to stimuli, like the tearing of the eyes. Recent studies have found that when the trigeminal nerve becomes stimulated, it triggers the blood vessels in the brain’s covering to dilate as a response. Some researchers suggest that migraine causing stimuli include smells, bright lights and changes in barometric pressure.

As the blood vessels dilate and blood pulses through them, the trigeminal nerve translates these pulses as pain. These feelings of pain pass through the sphenopalatine ganglion, or SPG located right behind the nose, causing headaches and migraines.

Blocking pain from being transmitted through the SPG and causing a migraine can be done by using a nerve block delivered by a SphenoCath. A SphenoCath is a thin and flexible catheter that is inserted into the nasal cavity to deliver an anesthetic to the SPG. This anesthetic blocks the SPG from transmitting pain signals to the rest of the brain. One or both nostrils may be treated, depending on where the patient has pain.

The SphenoCath SPG Block is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure. A topical anesthetic nasal spray is administered to numb the area, and the SphenoCath is inserted through the nostril. The anesthetic for the block is dripped into the nasal cavity. It Is then absorbed through the bone and into the SPG.

The SphenoCath can deliver the anesthetic in about two to three minutes, but the entire procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes. The SPG nerve block using the SphenoCath is performed by an interventional radiologist in an office or clinic. Dr. Michael Budler, M.D., is an interventional radiologist who performs SphenoCath on migraine patients in his Grand Island, Nebraska, practice. Budler explains why the SphenoCath is a great treatment migraine sufferers, "The SphenoCath is a is very thin and flexible. It can be comfortably inserted into the nasal cavity and quickly deposit the blocking agent. This quick procedure can immediately bring relief to patients suffering migraine pain."

Risks and complications of SphenoCath are short-lived and include slight discomfort during the procedure, soreness after the procedure, numbness or bitter taste in the mouth and nosebleeds.

The SPG nerve block can last several months, but Budler recommends patients return for additional treatments at least four times a year. "Because the anesthetic will eventually wear off, patients should return for reapplication once every three to four months," he says.

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June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness month and Advanced Radiology wants you to be aware of treatment options. Sufferers of chronic migraine, TMJ disorders, oral cancer and other facial pain can follow their noses to relief with a 15 minute, non-invasive SPG block.  Administered through the nose via a needleless catheter called a Sphenocath that applies a numbing medication to the nerve located in the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG), a structure within the nose where the nerves that register facial and migraine pain reside.  Spenocath is one of many procedures offered by the team at Advanced Radiology.

The concept of relieving migraine and facial pain through administering a nerve blocking agent to the SPG has been documented since the 1800s, but only within the last few years has the FDA approved Sphenocath as a non-invasive procedures for applying the nerve blocking agent.    Previously radiologists had managed less accurate applications of numbing medication via a needle through the cheek or a swab through the nose.

Properly applied, a nerve blocking agent administered by Sphenocath can relieve migraines and other facial pain for up to three months, and are safe to repeat as necessary.    Sphenocath has been recognized by the American Migraine Foundation as an effective form of treatment.  To schedule a consultation, contact Advanced Radiology at 855-201-1519.

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Posted by on in Migraine Treatment

Head or facial pain can be debilitating, especially migraine headaches. Many people simply live with this pain or treat their chronic pain with continual use of pain medication.  Anyone who suffers from cluster headaches, upper tooth pain, migraine headaches and facial pain is a candidate for Advanced Radiology’s Sphenocath treatment for long-term relief.

On average, between three and four treatments per year can keep someone suffering from these sorts of conditions pain-free. The Sphenocath is an easy, outpatient procedure that does not require needles. The procedure takes around fifteen minutes and provides immediate relief to most patients.

With the patient lying on his or her back, the interventional radiologist sprays an anesthetic mist to the nose.  Once the anesthetic is working, a limited real-time x-ray is used to locate the correct spot to deliver the mediation inside the nasal cavity. Once this place has been located, a soft-tipped catheter is then used by the interventional radiologist to deliver the medication.

From that point the mucosa (a thin layer of tissue inside the nasal cavity) absorbs the medication, transferring it to the sphenopalatine ganglion, a group of nerves related to headaches. The medication works on the sphenopalatine ganglion, causing it to “reset” eliminating the ongoing pain.

This safe and effective procedure is safe for both adults and children. Most insurance companies cover the Sphenocath treatment. If you or someone you know has chronic headaches or migraines, please call us at 855-201-1519 to schedule a consultation. We offer treatment in Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, Fremont, Kearney, York and Crete. 

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