Medication overuse headaches – MOH comes from frequent or excessive use of pain-relieving medications, resulting in daily or near-daily headaches for which the drugs become less and less effective. They are also known as rebound headaches, medication misuse, or drug-induced headaches. It is a common disorder, with around one out of every 100 individuals experiencing these headaches yearly. They can be disabling, causing individuals to be less productive. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic can assess, diagnose, and manage headaches naturally with massage, adjustments, and decompression.
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The same medications that relieve headache pain can trigger headaches if used too often, triggering an unhealthy cycle. Diagnosis of medication overuse headaches means an individual must experience headaches more than 15 days a month for at least three months while taking pain-relieving and/or antimigraine meds and cannot find other cause/s for their headaches. It is more common in women and individuals with headache disorders, chronic pain conditions, and individuals dealing with depression and anxiety.
Symptoms can vary depending on the type of headache being treated and the medicine used. Common symptoms include:
Other symptoms can include:
Doctors and medical experts don’t know the exact reasons/causes why these headaches occur, and the risk varies depending on the medication. But most medicines have the potential to lead to overuse headaches, including:
The following steps can help prevent headaches:
Our team utilizes a personalized and combined treatment approach, including understanding the triggers. The team will work to understand each individual’s situation. A treatment plan can consist of the following:
Alstadhaug, Karl B et al. “Preventing and treating medication overuse headache.” Pain reports vol. 2,4 e612. 26 Jul. 2017, doi:10.1097/PR9.0000000000000612
Bryans, Roland, et al. “Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 34,5 (2011): 274-89. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2011.04.008
Diener, Hans-Christoph, et al. “Pathophysiology, prevention, and treatment of medication overuse headache.” The Lancet. Neurology vol. 18,9 (2019): 891-902. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30146-2
Kulkarni, Girish Baburao, et al. “Medication Overuse Headache.” Neurology India vol. 69, Supplement (2021): S76-S82. doi:10.4103/0028-3886.315981
Negro, Andrea, and Paolo Martelletti. “Gepants for the treatment of migraine.” Expert opinion on investigational drugs vol. 28,6 (2019): 555-567. doi:10.1080/13543784.2019.1618830
Scripter, Cassie. “Headache: Tension-Type Headache.” FP essentials vol. 473 (2018): 17-20.
The information herein on "Medication Overuse Headaches: EP Chiropractic Team" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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