New migraine center in Williamsburg
Ashlie Campbell had suffered from frequent migraines since childhood. As a youngster, she would often miss school and social engagements. As an adult, the problem continued, affecting her work as a hygienist at the local dental practice of Dr. Robert Morrison. It was common for her to have several migraines a week, and she never left home without prescription medication.
The medicine helped to manage the pain, but didn’t eradicate the occurrence. That’s where cutting edge technology came in. Coincidentally, she sought help at Morrison Migraine Center, headed by her boss, Dr. Robert Morrison. After several weeks of treatment, Campbell became headache free.
“Ashlie had migraines since she was six years old,” Morrison Wednesday in an interview at the center, located in Norge. “When we started her therapy, she had a fifty percent reduction in her medication by the third week. Now she is off the medication and hasn’t had a migraine in fourteen weeks.”
“I am not missing work or family functions anymore,” Campbell, who is now 27, said. “I don’t have to take medicine anymore and that has saved a lot of money. Migraine medicines are expensive.”
What’s more, her mood and outlook on life have changed for the better. “I didn’t care about dating or hanging out with my friends,” she admitted. “Now I am a happier person. My attitude is better.”
As a dental mandibular registered technician at the migraine center, Campbell helps Morrison and the center’s other physicians, Ira Goldstein and Jacob Hartley, evaluate and treat those who come to the center looking for relief from headaches.
“I think Ashlie is the expert,” Morrison interjected. “She is trained as a therapist, but was also a migraine sufferer. It’s like anything else—life experience brings a lot to the table.”
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are not just a bad headache. A migraine consists of neurological symptoms that usually include a severe recurring intense throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. Attacks can last up to 72 hours and can be accompanied by visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell. It is estimated that more than 10 percent of the world’s population suffers from migraines.
The treatment offered at the center is designed to help without prescription medication or the use of injections, including Botox. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration approved Botox for treatment of chronic migraine headaches in adults.
Morrison uses the TruDenta system, which he explained uses techniques that have been used in sports medicine, physical therapy and dentistry to provide relief from the symptoms. Some techniques used include ultrasound, electrical stimulation and cold laser treatments.
“None of these are experimental techniques,” he said. “They have been out there a long time.”
Morrison uses the system to evaluate a person’s pain symptoms and disabilities in the teeth, muscles and joints. Based on his data, he provides patients with therapy to help their symptoms. The process usually takes about 12 weeks and includes in-office and at-home care that patients are asked to do on their own.
“We are trying to treat this in a non-invasive, non-medication way,” he said.
Patients who come to the center usually have a long history of doctors visits and tried medications. Some, like Campbell, have been struggling for years.
“The one thread we see with all patients is that they say they have learned to live with it,” Morrison said. “I ask them, ‘How do you live with it? Have you ever had to cancel plans because of a headache? If they answer ‘Yes,’ then they live around it. It becomes the focus of their life.”
New patients are given a head health history, which they discuss with Morrison or one of the other doctors. They are assessed through a series of tests including bite, trigger points, dental forces and range of motion. From there, a treatment plan is proposed.
Insurance coverage varies.
Morrison said the change in Campbell has been noticeable, a testament to the technique.
“I have seen the difference in her personality, in her joie de vivre” he said. “When you start talking about migraines, everyone knows someone with it. We know these people, and we know that it can go on for years.”
More—The Migraine Center can be reached at 345-6899. For more information on TruDenta, visit www.trudenta.com.