2018 Study Reveals Hair Transplants May Provide Migraine Relief
Hair transplants may provide migraine relief, yes its possible and in this article we are going to explain how. Migraines are very common nowadays, it is estimated that approximately 13% of all adults in the US suffer from migraine episodes. A migraine usually causes a disabling headache. Although currently multiple treatments (drugs, diet, exercise, etc.) are used to alleviate the symptoms, as the migraine itself is considered incurable. This means that the millions of people suffering from a migraine must seek non-traditional ways to relieve their symptoms.
An investigation carried out in 2017 and published in the medical journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery-Global Open, showed that there was a significant reduction in migraine symptoms in six patients who had undergone a Michigan hair transplant procedure. This is the largest study that showed that hair transplants may provide migraine relief for many people. Before we can discuss just how hair transplants effect migraines lets talk about what exactly a migraine is.
What Exactly is a Migraine?
Chronic migraines are a primary neurological disease that affects millions of people around the world, and is understood as a severe, throbbing and long lasting headache. According to several epidemiological studies, more than 37 million Americans suffer from migraines, with 2-3 million people considered chronic victims. As a consequence of a migraine, the quality of life and productivity is significantly decreased. The rate of occurrence in the general population is quite high, and women represent 3 out of 4 migraine cases. Although men and adolescents are less affected, the incidence of migraine in children increases gradually every single year.
Migraines effect sensory processing and begin in half of the cases with premonitory symptoms (prodrome) consisting of discomfort, fatigue, irritability, inappetence, and insomnia. In migraine attacks without aura, headaches start from these premonitory phenomena and continue for long periods of time. The headache is usually throbbing, although, it can evolve into oppressive pain. The location of a migraine is hemi-cranial, meaning it affects half of the head), but can also be holocranial (affects the entire head) or even have occipital predominance (the back of the head). It is often accompanied by photophobia, sonophobia and vegetative symptoms such as nausea (80%) and vomiting (50%). Note, these effects regardless of weather or not someone has had a Michigan hair restoration procedure in the past.
In migraine attacks with aura (sensory disturbances), which represent approximately 10-20%, the aura usually presents 10-45 minutes before the headache, although it can also manifest at the same time or after the headache. The most frequent symptoms are visual alterations (90%) in the form of photopsies, scotomas or visual hallucinations. Other less frequent forms of aura include paresthesias (30%) that progressively affects the face and the upper extremity. At other times, a motor deficit may appear, and even language alterations in the form of expressive aphasia. These disorders are gradually established in 5-10 minutes and may persist for a few hours in relapsing-recurrent episodes, raising the differential diagnosis with focal seizures or transient cerebral ischemia. Most often, the duration of the aura oscillates between 10-30 minutes.
What is a Hair Transplant Surgery?
The process of hair transplantation does not vary if it is used for aesthetic purposes or to help minimize the symptoms of migraine.
Over the years, new techniques have been developed for hair transplantation, such as Hair transplantation with follicular micrografts, which allows Michigan hair transplant surgeon to obtain more accurate results and reduce adverse effects. Hair transplantation with follicular micrografts can be done using two techniques: FUT and FUE.
FUT Technique (Follicular Unit Transplantation): Also known as strip harvesting, consists of the surgical extraction of a strip of hair by the neck region, approximately 1 cm wide and 15-20 long. This “donor area” is sutured by a technique that provides a virtually undetectable scar (trichophytic suture), allowing the patient to hide it with his or her own hair. The follicles of that strip of skin are separated one by one by means of a microscope. Subsequently, these individual follicles are implanted in the bald area, usually in the upper area and the entrances. This technique is the one that manages to obtain a greater number of follicles to transplant and is the one used traditionally to treat those with extensive alopecia and in women since it is not necessary to shave the hair to perform this technique.
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction): FUE differs from the previous technique in the form of extraction of the follicles, which is done individually by means of a circular scalpel instead of making a strip. The way of implanting the hair is identical to the prior method though. This technique is used especially in men who have very short or shaved hair. Follicular unit extraction is in fact more advanced that strip harvesting. It is more commonly recommended by Michigan hair transplant surgeons as it creates a more natural look and has higher rates of patient satisfaction on average.
With an expert surgical team, the results are often exceptional and the recovery time is very minimal. After 3-5 days of sensitivity, patients should return to feeling normal and without pain.
How Can a Hair Transplant Relieve Migraine Symptoms?
Although medical experts are not sure about the exact process that is occurring, they suggest that the relief of migraine symptoms is related to the fact that nerve endings are injured during the hair transplant procedure reducing the sensitivity of the nerves. When the surgeon makes the incision in the scalp, nerves and sensory tissues are cut, minimizing the signals that trigger the pain of the migraine.
During the healing process of the nerves and the surrounding injured tissue, the nerve signals are altered. Regenerated nerves no longer spontaneously activate to generate pain and improve blood flow and brain neurotransmission.
Although the studies that connect hair transplants and the reduction of migraine pain are new and require a larger population under study, these findings are encouraging and could represent another alternative treatment in patients with migraine.
Have more question about whether or not a hair transplants may provide migraine relief? Think that a hair transplant procedure is something you’re interested in undergoing either for cosmetic or medical reasons? If so, contact SurgeonGate today and we will promptly connect you with the leading Michigan hair transplant surgeon for a consultation to discuss your needs. At SurgeonGate.org, we only work with the most experienced and highly trained surgeons in the country and since you only have one head of hair, we recommend you do as well. Contact us today to get started on your journey.