“Comprehensive care” is a collaborative approach to treatment. Here’s why it’s so effective for migraine.
If you were building a house, you would insist your contractor, plumber, electrician, and HVAC person coordinate with one another. To build a functioning and sturdy house, everyone needs to understand what everyone else is doing and appreciate how the work relates to each other. So why wouldn’t we insist our doctors coordinate with each other when treating us and our multifaceted migraine disease?
Managing our own complex migraine disease can feel like a burden we are not trained to handle. It’s a challenge to manage all the mind-body aspects of migraine — nutrition, hydration, sleep, stress, relationships, hormones, preventive and abortive drug treatments — and also have knowledge across the continuum of care that would keep us up to date on the best drug breakthroughs or alternative therapies.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could go to a headache center for migraine disease that coordinates all aspects of your care in a thoughtful, knowledgeable way?
What is comprehensive care?
That’s where comprehensive, or integrated, care comes in. It’s a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to medical care that puts the patient first. Centers, such as Thomas Jefferson University’s Headache Center, tackle the fragmented nature of medical care by centralizing knowledge from a variety of specialists into one integrated center. Instead of having to shuttle from one doctor’s office to another, hoping you’ve remembered the key information and are relaying it correctly, you receive care in one place where the experts take on the burden of communicating with one another.
This approach addresses the whole patient and what they need from a range of different medical professionals. We know that a patient’s migraine care is improved when symptoms and medical history is analyzed in this collaborative way.
This kind of mind-body support is hugely beneficial for people with migraine. Migraine spills into all aspects of our lives and needs a multi-pronged strategy to keep it in check. When your “team” coordinates therapies and lifestyle modifications tailored just for you, the results can be not only very effective but — because your migraine is getting such rigor of attention — may not be possible without the team approach.
Treatment options available at a comprehensive care center might include:
- behavioral health
- counseling services
- hormonal therapy
- Integrative medicine modalities combining traditional and alternative medicine such as acupuncture/acupressure, herbs, massage, and meditation
- manipulative therapy
- nerve blocks
- nutrition counseling
- outpatient and inpatient care
- physical and recreational therapy
- sleep medicine
- stress management
- surgical treatments
How To Get Comprehensive Care
Many comprehensive care centers are affiliated with teaching and research universities. Check this list of more than 30 headache centers around the country compiled by the Migraine Research Foundation to find the one nearest you.
What if you live far away? Some patients decide to travel significant distances to see a doctor at one of these centers. Even if you only go once, you may gain knowledge that could profoundly affect your migraine treatment. Specialists at these centers will often coordinate care with your local primary doctor. Ctrl M Health also embraces this holistic approach, with a full complement of mind-body approaches to migraine management that address the whole person, so that you can live your fullest life.