June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month! In this post you will find a plethora of links to places online where you can raise your awareness (and maybe pick up some tools for your Chronic Pain Toolkit along the way!).
I’ve had headaches since childhood. But it wasn’t until I went to a Chronic Pain Rehab Program that I was diagnosed with an actual headache disorder. The majority of my headaches are tension-type but I do have an occasional migraine (without aura). I have tried almost everything to cope with them.
When they were infrequent and acute I used medication, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, ice/heat, physical therapy and traction. When they increased in severity and became chronic I tried cervical epidural steroid injections, cranial-sacral, and more medications.
Currently, I manage my headache disorders by using restorative yoga, naturopathy, homeopathy and avoidance of triggers. I also continue to use a lot of the other tools in my Chronic Pain Toolkit for symptom management.
I believe that part of being able to manage my headaches comes from awareness and support from the headache disorder community. Here are just some of the great places where you can find information, advocacy, tools and support:
Community and Support
- American Headache and Migraine Association (AHMA) Find support, information and a discussion forum for members. Membership is a nominal fee of $15/year but is free for active duty military personnel and disabled vets.
- Diana Lee at Somebody Heal Me Diana Lee is a savvy migraineur (among other things!) and is the ring leader for the Headache Disorders and Migraine Blog Carnival that is posted monthly. She also founded and hosts a migraine chat that is worth checking into! You can also find her combating stigma at Migraine.com.
- Tammy Rome at This Migraine Life I met Tammy through the Migraine Chat and soon found we have many things in common. She offers a wholistic and unique perspective. She owns The Seven Portions family of companies and can also be found at This Cluster Life.
- Teri Robert at Migraine.com Teri Robert is one of the powerhouse Migraine advocates. You can find her advocacy work many places on the web including HealthCentral.
- Ellen Schankenberg at Migraine.com Ellen Schankenberg is a powerful health activist. Start with her work at Migraine.com and follow her extensive trail from there!
- Headache Disorder Blog Network This site has a great list of additional patient and patient advocate blogs (all of which I wish I could add on here separately because they’re all so good!).
- American Headache Society® (AHS) Committee for Headache Education (ACHE) Great information for patients.
- American Headache Society Wonderful site for professionals and they offer a journal.
- National Headache Foundation Information, resources and even a magazine.
- M.A.G.N.U.M Migraine Awareness Group: A National Understanding for Migraineurs is a great resource for migraineurs and includes information on impairment and disability.
- World Headache Alliance Partnering with the World Health Organization and the International Headache Society to advocate for people all over the world with headache disorders.
- Lifting the Burden Has a great summary for primary care physicians listing the diagnostic criteria for headache disorders with ICD-10 coding (remember that the US is still using ICD-9 coding until sometime in 2014).
- American Migraine Foundation Home of the 36 Million Migraine Campaign raising money for research.
- Migraine Research Foundation Raising money for research and also provides information and resources.
Pain Camp is a safe place to share your thoughts, experience, strength and hope. What are some awesome resources that you know of for Headaches and Migraines?