Brock was hit by a driver who failed to yield in traffic. The force of the accident caused him to hit his head and the steering wheel and cause a severe strain and sprain of his neck and lumbar areas. This injury brought on daily debilitating migraines.
Brock was a young man who worked an active job and enjoyed sports before the accident, but his migraines left him unable to work and stay active. Lifting weights or just walking for too long could cause him to lose his breath, which would trigger an agonizing migraine. He had to quit his physically demanding job in favor of one that would not aggravate his condition.
While many people believe that migraines are just like any other headache, the truth is that severe migraines can be debilitating and difficult to treat. In addition to excruciating pain, the symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances, and increased sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells. The underlying physiological mechanism of migraines is not fully understood by scientists; research has shown migraines to be a neurovascular disorder that involves both the brain and the blood vessels. Certain conditions of normal daily life, including routine physical activity, can trigger the onset of a migraine.
While some over-the-counter medications can help alleviate the symptoms of mild migraines, prevention and treatment of severe migraines may require expert medical attention. Some prescription medications can help chronic migraine sufferers, but these medications may cause potentially dangerous side effects, and some migraine sufferers cannot tolerate them or do not see benefit from them. Overuse of painkillers to treat chronic migraines and other conditions that cause headaches can lead to a condition called rebound headache or medication overuse headache. In these cases, a patient’s attempts to control chronic headaches with painkillers may actually lead to more and more severe pain.
In Brock’s case, the best treatment available was an IV infusion process that could take up to 8 hours per day, multiple days per week. This type of treatment is usually reserved for patients with severe headaches who have not been successful in finding any other form of relief. A treatment method involving Botox injections also helped to alleviate Brock’s pain. This FDA-approved use of botulinum toxin requires a specialist to inject Botox into multiple areas on the head and neck. While researchers are still studying why this treatment works when others don’t for chronic migraine sufferers, a recent study suggested that botulinum toxin, when injected into specific sites, can reduce the expression of pain pathways in the trigeminovascular system.