At Holistic Pain we like to showcase other blogs and websites that we think are helpful for chronic pain patients. This month we want to shine a light on Migraine.com for the work that it does to spread awareness and share resources for patients with this head pain condition. Let’s take a closer look inside Migraine.com and tell you about all the features and reasons we love it.
Extensive content means extensive resources
Migraine.com, a Health Union website, is powered by the readers. Real people and real experts share information and insight about living with this often debilitating head pain. Users can register with the site and contribute to surveys and statistics daily that will help everyone determine the best ways to treat and live with chronic migraine pain.
Because the website is user-driven, there is always new content available for readers. This means that there are extensive and continuously updated resources available at all times. Recent features are showcased on the front page and more in-depth information can be found along the top of the page in the additional sections. These sections include community and tool pages that can connect migraine patients to one another for support and additional resources for daily living.
Under the tab for community, readers can get the latest migraine-related headlines, participate in surveys and discussions, tell their stories, and get involved.
One of the most important recommendations we make to our pain patients is to become involved in a support group. Support groups can be in person or, if necessary, online. The Migraine.com online support community is one of the most vibrant we’ve seen so we highly encourage our patients to utilize it.
On the community page you can meet the Migraine.com team of advocates. These are individuals who are impacted by chronic migraine pain but “have chosen not to let the disease run their lives.” Each of them has a unique perspective that readers can learn from and know that they also live with migraines.
Some stories on the site include:
- Migraines and parenting: Author Adrianna discusses what it is like to be the mom of two small babies and deal with daily migraine triggers. She is actively looking for support on Migraine.com to better deal with the headaches as well as the other issues in her life.
- Life after migraines: Ciar posts about her life after chronic migraines. While she still gets headaches, she says they are much better than they were at another time in her life. She shares that after 25 years with chronic migraines the pain began to change and her life is very different now to provide hope for other readers.
- Check the expiration dates: Contributor Julie offers some advice about checking the expiration dates on medication before taking them. She discusses a time when she was on a trip and didn’t realize the medication was expired before it was too late.
- Living with elves: User Kaci describes her migraine headaches as living with elves in her head. They have tempers and respond angrily to sounds and bright lights, which is an experience every migraine patient can relate to. She describes her quest to quiet the elves. She has tried acupuncture and Botox as well as a number of pharmaceutical treatments. She has yet to find the right solution but is feeling confident.
- Being a migraine mom: Keling describes what it is like to watch her young son suffer from migraine pain. Migraine headaches don’t only affect the patient directly, everyone in their lives experiences the reverberations of the painful experiences. She describes what makes him a wonderful boy and her hope for discovering a medication that will help him.
From these frank stories, open discussion can begin about what it is like to live with migraine pain and as migraine patients. Users are encouraged to participate in the open forums to help facilitate discussion on migraine headaches and how it affects daily living.
Migraine.com offers a variety of tools that can help individuals better manage their chronic migraine pain on a day-to-day basis. There is a migraine meter and symptom checker. There are migraine quizzes frequently featured on the site as well as an FAQ that can help people understand the most basic information about this chronic head pain. There is also a migraine journal available that can help patients keep track of their symptoms and receive better care from their specialists at appointments throughout the year.
Movement toward open discussion
At Holistic Pain, we understand the need to be open about pain conditions. Keeping them bottled inside does nothing to shed a necessary light on the daily struggles that individuals with chronic pain conditions face. Furthermore, invisible disabilities are challenging to the rest of the population who don’t understand that the pain still exists even if it can’t be seen. In today’s digital age we’ve seen so many examples of shaming on social media. When an apparently able-bodied person parks in a handicapped parking space, even with the correct tags, some people are too quick with the camera phones and posting the photos on social media to “call them out.” They don’t even stop to consider that a disability can be invisible. This is a problem in our culture and we need to address it.
This is why we promote a general movement toward open and compassionate discussions about pain conditions. Migraine pain, along with a variety of other invisible disabilities, are real and debilitating and it is critical that we, as a society, are part of the dialogue about how to better help our fellow sufferers cope with their disease.
It can begin within the community itself. Migraine patients can promote a sense of compassion by participating in user-driven sites like Migraine.com to share their experiences and support others in their own journey to find relief, or the PainDoctor Facebook support group. Will you join?
What online resources do you turn to for help managing your migraine pain?
Image by GotCredit via Flickr