Do You Have a Local Urgent Care Devoted to Treating Migraine?
Finding emergency migraine treatment is difficult but worth exploring.
Posted March 28, 2023 | Reviewed by Vanessa Lancaster
- Intractable migraine or unusual symptoms can often require emergency care.
- Urgent Care facilities can target and treat migraine disease.
- Emergency migraine treatment in communities often places patients in the worst possible settings due to triggers and aspects of migraine.
I was suffering from a 16-day migraine attack, and nothing I had at my disposal was working. Every rescue medication failed me this time. Feeling helpless, I went to what had once been a local Urgent Care, which, in part, was devoted specifically to migraine treatment. I had been there on numerous other occasions for Infusion Protocol, nerve blocks, and shots of Toradol.
This time, I walked in, only to learn that the facility no longer operated to truly support migraine patients. Instead, if migraine patients wanted treatment, they would wait in line with all the other Urgent Care patients, and there was a sign saying the wait time was almost four hours!
How could I sit in a loud area, much like an Emergency Room, where children were screaming, a television on, a small room teeming with other patients waiting their turn, bright lights, and terrible fragrances? I could barely sit up at home for more than a half hour at a time.
I walked out lonelier and more helpless than ever. Did I really want to go to the Emergency Room, where they are already oversubscribed--where the noise, the wait, the smells, and, often, the general lack of understanding of migraine severity further exacerbate symptoms?
The right Urgent Care facilities can be most helpful: “If you’ve been diagnosed with a migraine disorder or are experiencing headaches that do not improve or worsen rapidly, you should visit one of our urgent care facilities today for further diagnosis and comprehensive treatment” (“Should I Go”). Urgent Care has the potential to provide expedited care for patients presenting for evaluation and treatment of headaches.
However, considerable variability exists amongst UCs in their abilities to manage headaches: “A recent study to show the efficacy of such treatments reveals many opportunities for future research, including the development of protocols and professional partnerships to help guide the evaluation, triage, and treatment of patients with headache in UC settings (Minen et al.). Despite the proliferation of urgent care facilities, they do not all offer IV therapy, nerve blocks, or many medications needed to treat a migraine flair, making some of them a waste of time and money for the migraine sufferer (Minen et al.).
There needs to be more investment in the migraine community. We all recognize there are times when our migraine attacks become so intolerable and/or resistant to the treatment that we need emergency care.
Where do you go if you have a debilitating migraine, none of your rescue medications are working, and you can’t get into your doctors but can no longer tolerate the persistent pain and other symptoms of this disease?
Do you know if your community has an Urgent Care devoted to migraine patients and, if so, what they offer? I urge you to seek out this information before your next terrible attack.
Minen MT, Khanns D, Guiracocha J, Ehrlich A, Khan FA, Ali AS, Birlea M, Singh NN, Peretz A, Larry Charleston IV. “The role of urgent care centers in headache management: a quality improvement project”. National Library of Medicine. BMC Health Serv Res. 2022 Feb 8;22.
“Should I Go to ER or Urgent Care for a Migraine? Here’s What You Should Know.”Pomona Valley Health Centers. July 2022. https://mypvhc.com/should-i-go-to-the-er-or-urgent-care-for-a-migraine.