How Migraine Affects Our Veterans and What We Can Do About It
"We always say, 'Thank you for your service.' But it should be, 'Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice. What can I do to help you ease the pain you've suffered?'" says, John Feal, 9/11 First Responder & Army Veteran.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Feal elaborates that migraine and cluster headaches (a very debilitating form of headache) are the new PTSD--although common amongst veterans, especially those who have experienced traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or been exposed to toxic burn pits (which includes 9/11 first responders) the access & treatment available to veterans is failing them.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Migraine is the 2nd leading cause of disability in the United States, but it's an 'invisible' condition, as Feal mentions. There is not enough medical research, not enough equitable treatment options (i.e., many veterans don't live somewhere that has the specialized care needed), and not enough healthcare providers with appropriate training in headaches & migraine.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Feal's words personally struck a chord with me. I have specialized in migraine and headache for years, and it's only recently that I learned about the correlations between veterans with TBI's and/or toxic exposure & the development of migraine & debilitating headaches, AND how underserved those groups are. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We can all participate in helping improve access & treatment options for veterans in two ways:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
👉 Awareness: Reading this post, taking 3 minutes to watch: https://youtu.be/WjOQkoU8-b4 & checking out organizations like headachemigraineforum.org who are advocating for our veterans.
👉Advocate: Support policies that seek to ensure our veterans are cared for when they return home, policies that seek to improve migraine research funding and improve equitable access to the care needed. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Not only will this help veterans, but more funding for migraine research supports all living with an invisible & debilitating condition.
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