MECHANICSBURG—Every year, millions of Americans suffer from migraines and other sever headache disorders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The pain from these conditions can be far worse than the run-of-the-mill headache and can lead to loss of work, time away from family and a diminished quality of life.

“(Migraines) could happen once a month, but for a lot of people, it happens multiple times a week where they get a migraine and they have to be confined to a dark room,” Dr. David Sullivan said. “It makes it difficult to take care of their children. It makes it difficult to hold down a job. It’s a tremendous strain on the family.”

That is why Sullivan created the Headache Freedom Center of Harrisburg in Mechanicsburg. His center uses a minimally invasive approach to dealing with severe headaches.

“A lot of chiropractors use spinal manipulations and make adjustments to neck and back,” Sullivan said. “We have a totally different treatment model here.”

Sullivan said his practice uses a system called non-invasive neuromodulation. In the most basic terms, Sullivan uses low-voltage electrical waves and magnetic waves to stimulate nerves in the head.

“We have different ways of stimulating the nerves of the head to take away pain,” he said.

When a patients first arrives at the Headache Freedom Center, they are given a battery of testing, including diagnostic imaging, to help diagnose any underlying conditions that may be causing the headaches.

After the diagnostic testing is done, Sullivan and his staff sits down with the patient to come up with a set of goals for the treatment.

For someone suffering from daily or weekly migraines, this could mean reducing the frequency to once or twice a month.

Sullivan said he wants to set quantifiable goals so he and his patients can see if the treatment is having an effect.

“Within six weeks, we expect 90 percent improvement or better,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said treatments, which involves sitting in a full-body massage chair while having face and head nerves stimulated, can begin rather aggressively, with five treatments a week to start. As the weeks progress, Sullivan said the number of treatments are tapered off.

Treatments typically take about 30 minutes.

“I’m not going to be so bold as to say this is the cure for all of it. That will come out in time,” Sullivan said. “What I can tell you is that the transformations that we see in people are just incredible. I’d say most people, by in large, can get better or see substantial improvement by what we do here.”

For more information visit headachefreedomcenter.com.

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