Headaches are like annoying door-to-door solicitors, arriving unannounced at your door during the busiest moment of your day. But you often can shoo them away with the equivalent of a hard “no,” a simple ibuprofen and moment of rest.
Migraines, on the other hand, are thieves. They steal the joy, contentment and comfort you thought you had. Thieves come into a home, sneaking around until they find a valuable piece of property to steal, leaving you with an empty space and fading memories.
Migraines are Sneaky
If you suffer from migraines, then you understand the “sneaky” quality these recurring life interruptions have. Their potential for inducing long-lasting pain lingers in your life. You’re never sure when a migraine may strike next—ever ready to steal the plans you had for your day (or days) and leaving you void of the memories and joy of what could have been.
I hadn’t always suffered from migraines, but once they started occurring, they wouldn’t stop.
They came monthly, sometimes bi-monthly, and ranged from hours to days. At times, the piercing pain made me vomit. Other times, I had trouble focusing my eyes. Occasionally, it was a more “manageable” pain. That meant I could force my way through the commitments I had that day by avoiding smells that would make me throw up or faint and focusing on when I could crawl into bed and put a pillow over my face to block out all light and noise.
When a migraine struck, I would call in sick to work, cancel plans with friends, skip meals, and sleep. Those were awful days, but I pushed through. Migraines were something you had to buck up and deal with. And I technically only had to take care of myself.
But then I had a child, and everything changed.
My Child Needed Me
Once we had our daughter, my migraines went from simple thieves to full-on home raids. They no longer only affected just little old me. When my husband had to stay home from work yet AGAIN to step in and care for our infant while I vomited and attempted to sleep the pain off, it hit us: We needed to seek some type of treatment.
Not only was I causing a major disruption in the flow of our family’s days, but I was missing out on chances to get down on the floor and play with my daughter, cuddle her in my arms and take in all the precious moments. Pushing through those monthly migraines was no longer an option when I had another human life depending on me for existence.
I had my annual care providers check for causes of migraines. Was it a dental related problem, like grinding my teeth or clenching my jaw? My dentist confirmed no. Was it an ocular migraine? Another negative, as my eye exam and doctor confirmed no. An underlying medical condition or disorder? Blood work and an annual exam confirmed no. My husband and I were feeling defeated and a little lost as we seemed to be striking out at each doctor’s office.
We had run out of ideas.
It wasn’t until my husband stumbled across the “Headache Doctor” on Facebook that my path to migraine relief began. He told me this doctor was a physical therapist, and I’ll admit, I was not sold on the idea at first. My husband insisted it was worth a shot.
“Physical therapy? Isn’t that type of treatment for people who are recovering from a serious injury or work compensation situation?” I asked. “What would a PT know, let alone do, to help treat migraines?”
Ladies, let me tell you how wrong I was. My physical therapy care with Dr. Jono Taves of the Novera Headache Center has changed my life. I’m now living migraine free. Yes, you read that right: MIGRAINE FREE. And if you suffer from headaches, there is hope for you, too.
Taves, the “Headache Doctor,” has spent his career focusing on helping those with migraine and headache pain make their way to lasting pain relief—without medication or costly interventions. Previously, I believed treatments like physical therapy and chiropractic work required weekly appointments for the rest of your life. Just the thought of lifelong therapy and finding childcare each week was enough to give me a migraine.
My Path to a Migraine-Free Motherhood
But Dr. Taves immediately put this fear to rest. He told me he was not looking to have me as a lifelong client. After hearing my story and examining me during an initial discovery visit, Dr. Taves laid out his treatment plan: twice a week for eight weeks. Music to my ears! Dr. Taves had the same mission as me—to get me pain- and migraine-free, without dependence on medication or weekly appointments.
My physical therapy appointments consisted of hands-on care and massage techniques, stretching and exercises. Easy. I left each treatment session feeling lighter and happier. I could physically feel the improvements from week to week, and was mentally encouraged and uplifted as I progressed towards true pain relief. Upon being formally discharged from the clinic, I left equipped with helpful exercises and stretches to easily incorporate into my life to maintain my new, pain-free lifestyle.
I wish someone had told me physical therapy was a possible treatment for migraines. I wish I had found out about Dr. Taves of the Novera Headache Center sooner. While I knew migraines were robbing me of some daily joy, it wasn’t until I experienced motherhood migraine-free that I realized just how much I was missing out on.
Physical therapy has gifted me with a sense of freedom and enjoyment. I no longer live in fear of a migraine striking out of nowhere and taking away my ability to care for my child. I no longer miss out on play time, social meetups with friends, date nights with my husband or special occasions due to debilitating head pain.
Novera Headache Center
Mama, did you know women are 2-3 x more likely to experience migraines than men? You are not alone. If you or someone you know is experiencing chronic headaches or recurring migraines, I encourage you to consider visiting Colorado Springs’ very own Novera Headache Center.
Novera stands for something different, new, fresh and marks a date in time where patients can look at life differently. I’m here to share with you what I wish someone had told me: physical therapy can treat migraines. Chronic dependence on medication is no way to live. And my story is proof that you don’t have to push through and just “live with it.” Dr. Taves’ treatment has changed my life. If you are missing out on big and small moments with your family because of migraine pain, you’ve got nothing to lose. Take back your motherhood and schedule a free discovery visit at Novera today.
By reading this article, you agree not to use the information contained within this blog as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This article does not constitute the practice of any medical or other professional health care advice, diagnosis or treatment. None of the sponsors or contributors to this article represent or warrant that any particular service or product is safe, appropriate or effective for you. Furthermore, this article should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing “standard of care” in a legal sense or as a basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on this article. Under no circumstances shall any sponsors or contributors to the article be responsible for damages arising from use of the article. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. If you are in the United States and are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or call for emergency medical help on the nearest telephone.
Dr. Taves grew up in Colorado Springs and returned after his graduate schooling in the midwest. He endured Minnesota winters while going to school at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for his Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree. He has spent his career as a physical therapist sharpening his manual therapy, or “hands on” skills, by focusing on helping those with migraine and headache pain make their way to lasting pain relief–without medication or costly interventions.
Novera stands for something different, new, fresh and marks a date in time where you, the patient, can look at life differently. New, fresh, and different are not only internal core values for Novera that drive everything we do, but we want the patient experience to be just that: newness leading to change, leaving you refreshed. Dr. Taves has seen what the market offers for those suffering with headaches and migraines and it is time for something new. He also knows that most people don’t think of physical therapy as having anything to do with migraines or headaches, but is willing to put the work in to change that. because it is work worth doing, because chronic dependence on medication is no way to live.