domingo, 8 de junho de 2008

Neuromodulatory Therapy for Headache

Regardless of the significant advances seen in the last decade, the pharmacologic therapy of primary headaches still is unsatisfactory. A large number of cases remain without suitable solution.

Nevertheless, other modalities of headache therapy are available. Medical interventions which are directed to the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the medical condition represent a real possibility of resolution of this highly prevalent health problem.

Van Gogh

Still underestimated, the techniques designed to promote changes in the activity of the nervous system by means of peripheral neuromodulatory interventions - because targets of these techniques are the causal and perpetuating components of the headache syndromes, beside the secondary ones, use to be highly effective for the treatment of pain in general, and to produce amazing results for headache.

Based on the physiological properties of the peripheral nervous system, that allows it to react in predictable ways to specific stimulus, generating adaptive changes locally and at the central nervous system level, the neuromodulatory therapy produces different results, which are decisive for the reversion of the condition, like:

- Decrease of the sensitization of nociceptors (painful stimulus receptors);
- Normalization of altered reflexes that sustain the central neurons sensitization and the dysregulation of pain processing and mechanisms that control muscle tonus;

- Repair pain related central nervous processes, involving limbic, hypothalamic, endocrine and autonomic systems.

- Activate descendent inhibitory pathways that modulate the pain signals.

In the case of headache, the anomalous activation of the trigeminal-vascular, autonomic and neuromuscular systems, which are crucial for the development of the pain syndrome, can be – often promptly – repaired by the use of an association of techniques that includes intradermal and/or deeper injections of local anesthetics, puncture with acupuncture needles and electrical neural stimulation (either transcutaneous or percutaneous).

The changes induced by the neuromodulatory techniques of Contemporary Medical Acupuncture on the function of the nerve terminals and fibers are immediate, and resonate over the central nervous system, leading to recovery of normal functioning.

Branches of the 5th cranial (Trigeminal), the occipital, the accessory and the Vagus nerves, all of them involved in headache, are reached across specific sites that provide access to the nerve fibers or terminals under the skin.

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