New headache, migraine service available at Bell Hospital

ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - Around 40 million Americans suffer from chronic headache disorders, and almost five percent of adults experience headaches almost every day.

According to doctors at Bell Hospital, over three million Americans have resorted to emergency services to treat severe headaches at least once. A method for treating these headaches is now available at Bell Hospital in Ishpeming.

“For those people suffering from chronic migraine headaches or cluster migraine headaches, there is a very simple, very fast, very effective procedure now available in the U.P.,” said Dr. Todd Bostwick, a Radiologist at Bell Hospital.

Doctors Bostwick and Nik Vlasic push a flexible syringe up the nose of a patient, to a nerve cluster that can trigger migraines, then numbs it with Lidocain.

"There's a cluster of nerves at the back of the nose called the sphenopalatine ganglion," Dr. Bostwick said.

The nerve cluster can be irritated, which dilates blood vessels surrounding the brain, which irritates the nerve cluster.

"We block that ganglion (nerve cluster) and we break the cycle," said Dr. Bostwick.

According to some doctors, this nerve cluster is not always the cause of severe headaches

"Every headache is not a migraine, there are multiple different types of headaches. Migraines are the most severe form," Wautier Wellness chiropractor Dr. Gabrielle Hansen said. "We sometimes look at diet and what things trigger a person's migraines. Sometimes it's allergies."

Natural methods of healing rather than hiding the problem can work, including repairing the body's ability to heal itself. Chiropractors identify and relieve subluxations which are tensions in the spine causing the nervous system to work improperly.

"Then you're not inhibiting that fight-or-flight system," Dr. Hansen said.

One patient tried the Lidocain procedure at Bell Hospital after having migraines since she was nine.

"I felt you know how you get the feeling that you're going to get the migraine," migraine patient Dawn Connor said. "But that was it, the tight squeeze in the head and then it was gone, and I thought this is awesome. This is really going to work."

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