The Treatment Outcome

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Myofascial Headaches


"From the Enigma of Disability & Pain to the Path of a Happy & Productive Lifestyle"

The Story of a Chronic Pain Sufferer

In 1966, at the age of three I had a very unusual accident. While running with a pencil shaped object in my mouth I tripped. The pencil shaped object punctured the roof of my mouth and caused a blood clot in the left hemisphere of my brain. This caused a partial paralysis to the right side of my body. The doctor that examined me told my parents that I would either die or be a vegetablefor the remainder of my life as a result of the accident.

As it turned out I lived and retained my intelligence. However, I was left partially paralyzed on the right side. This paralysis caused my right hand to flop around uncontrollably on the end of my right arm. To counteract this difficulty, over the next several years I was seen by a specialist who tried experimental surgery to shorten the ten- dons in my right arm. Finally, after several attempts, the doctors said that further surgery would not help. I spent the remainder of my youth educating my brain, but not rehabilitating my body.

In 1983, after high school graduation, I attended a rehabilitation center to learn a trade. I was told by their physical therapy department that they could not help me with physical therapy, but with occupational therapy. At the time I was completely baffled. I thought, “Physical therapy is what they’re here for, right?” But occu- pational therapy is what I received. I graduated from the rehabilitation center in 1984. From 1984 through 1988 I did not receive treatment for my paralysis. In 1988 I started to have debilitating headaches. These headaches were infrequent at first and then after several years progressed to eight or nine per year with minor headaches throughout the year. The headaches would start out as a dull ache with steady pain on the right side, front portion of my head.

These headaches would only happen on the right side of my body, never on my left side. After several hours it would move to the back portion of my head and that is when the headache grew worse. By then I would be nauseous, unable to eat, affected by chills, and vomiting. This left me incapacitated and unable to work.

The first physician I saw told me that these headaches were sinus headaches and gave me a prescription based on that assumption. Over the next several years since, I saw many other physi- cians who said the debilitating headaches were migraines of one kind or another. Medications were prescribed that did not work. I finally gave up with this approach and just lived with the prob- lem for a while. By this time I had grown excessively stiff in my movements on my right side due to under use. I also had problems with my left side due to over use, a complication associ ated with my body’s compensation for partial use of my right side.

In 2004, at the age of 40, my life took a turn for the better. While having one of my so-called sinus headaches/migraines in April, I decided to call the Washington Pain Medicine Center to see if there was any way they could help. I had read an article earlier in the year about the center and a particularly interesting article on myofascial headaches. I realized while reading the article on myofascial headaches that the different symptoms described in the article were exactly what I was experiencing headaches caused by years of strain and stress to my right side muscles in my arm and leg.

I have been seeing Dr’s. P. S. and S. K. Ajrawat for treatments for myofascial headaches ever since I read the article. Since I started seeing Dr. P.S. Ajrawat, my right arm’s range of motion has almost returned to normal. Also, I have regained my balance and my movements are less rigid. Consequently, I have improved my gait and my limp has actually disappeared. As for my original reason for seeing Dr. P.S. Ajrawat, my headaches have lessened significantly in frequency. An additional unexpected benefit is that I am regaining my self-esteem with the help of Dr. S.K. Ajrawat.

The treatments I receive from Dr. P.S. Ajrawat (trigger point injections, physical rehabilitation and psychotherapy) are only part of the whole picture. This process is definitely a team effort. My recovery would not be occurring without the effort and dedication of both the doctors and the patient (myself). Through treatments in the office and exercises at home, we together are working toward the ultimate goal of my recovery. What Dr. P.S. Ajrawat has accomplished with me through his treatments I thought could never be possible, but it has changed my life to an extent indescribable with words. Instead of growing older, I feel like I’m getting younger. Thank you to everyone at the Washington Pain Medicine Center, especially to Dr’s P.S. Ajrawat and S.K. Ajrawat for all they have done to help me in moving on to a headache free life, with mobility, regained physical abilities, and greater self confidence than ever before.

-Susan Merritt