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“Waiting Out” a Migraine May Cause Adverse Setbacks

Do you treat a headache right when you feel one coming on, or do you “wait it out”? The answer to this question might change the way your pain is treated.

Why Do Some People Wait to Treat?

In a study of 690 migraine patients, 49% said that they often avoided or delayed taking their migraine medications when they felt an attack coming on.

Two common reasons for the delay?

70% of participants said they wanted to “wait and see if it is really a migraine attack” — and 46% said they  “only want to take medications if it is a severe attack.”

But “waiting it out” might not be the best course of action.


Because as a migraine evolves, its susceptibility to treatment decreases.

Acute Treatment for Migraine

“Acute treatment” is when you’re trying to stop a migraine in progress (as opposed to “preventative” treatment). Acute treatments vary but may include over-the-counter drugs or prescription ones.

Regardless of the type of drug, it’s recommended that acute treatment be taken right away when symptoms first begin. In fact, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s guidelines for primary care of headaches advises that patients take medication early in a migraine attack to improve effectiveness.


Sensitization describes the condition where the sensory receptors, called nociceptors, experience increased excitability, making them increasingly sensitive to pain. The result is a lower pain threshold.

It’s complicated, so think of it like this: Thanks to sensitization, you might experience an exaggerated pain response — meaning pain that used to feel like a 4 might now feel like a 7.

The good news? It’s possible that early treatment of pain, before it becomes moderate or severe, could help reduce or even avoid sensitization.

A Migraine Diagnosis is Imperative

If you’re living with headaches and migraines, it’s important to visit a pain management provider to get a migraine diagnosis and discuss the right method of treatment for your pain.

Pasadena Pain Management is here to help you.

Pasadena Treatment Migraines, Headaches, TMJ/TMD

Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.

If you are ready to take a step towards being pain free, or simply want to learn more about how the minimally invasive migraine treatment called TruDenta works, contact us today to set up a FREE TruDenta consultation.