New Treatment for Patients With Chronic Headache

Chronic headache and migraine caused by pericranial neuralgias can be treated in a variety of ways. Treatments range from the prescription of antidepressants or antiepileptic medications, to nerve blocks with steroids, to invasive treatments such as neurectomy and gamma knife surgery. Each method of treatment, while upwards of 80% effective in some cases, comes with specific adverse effects and the financial burden of treatment.

Radiofrequency ablation for pericranial nerves has been used as a minimally invasive treatment for chronic headache. Dr Abd-Elsayed and colleagues present the results of their retrospective analysis of 57 patients with intermittent or constant neuralgias. Patients received diagnostic blocks followed by radiofrequency ablation for the same nerve. Of the patients who were treated, 90.3% reported improvement in their headache condition and pain scores decreased significantly from preprocedure to postprocedure. Only two patients experienced side effects that resolved within one week.

Find more details on this study in the full text of the article here, along with another original research article on pulsed radiofrequency here. The spring issue also has two case reports dealing with the treatment of sural and intercostal neuralgia, here and here.