Head off chronic headaches.
Headaches are our most common health complaint.
Most Americans suffer from headaches at least once a year (90% of men and 95% of women). There are four basic types of headache: vascular, muscle contraction (tension), traction and inflammatory. The most common vascular headache is the migraine, with an estimated 28 million to 30 million sufferers nationwide.
Migraine headaches often come with severe pain on one or both sides of the head, upset stomach and even disturbed vision. Migraine headaches may last a day or more and can strike as often as several times a week or as rarely as once every few years. Women are more likely than men to get migraines.
After migraine, the most common type of vascular headache is the toxic headache produced by fever. Other kinds of vascular headaches include “cluster” headaches, which cause repeated episodes of intense pain and are more likely to affect men, and headaches resulting from high blood pressure.
Muscle contraction headaches appear to involve the tightening or tensing of facial and neck muscles. Traction and inflammatory headaches are symptoms of other disorders, ranging from stroke to sinus infection. Like other types of pain, headaches can serve as warning signals of more serious disorders. This is particularly true for headaches caused by inflammation, including those related to meningitis as well as those resulting from diseases of the sinuses, spine, neck, ears, and teeth.
Different treatment for different headaches.
When headaches occur three or more times a month, preventive treatment is usually recommended. Drug therapy, biofeedback training, stress reduction and elimination of certain foods from the diet are the most common methods of preventing and controlling migraine and other vascular headaches. Regular exercise can also reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
Drug therapy for migraine is often combined with biofeedback and relaxation training to get the best results.
Not all headaches require medical care. Many common tension headaches can be treated with OTC medications such as Tylenol® or ibuprofen. But other headaches are signals of more serious disorders and call for prompt medical attention. These include sudden, severe headache or sudden headache from a stiff neck, headache associated with fever, convulsions, confusion or loss of consciousness, headaches following a blow to the head or a whiplash-type injury. Headaches associated with pain in the eye or ear, persistent headaches in people who were previously headache-free and recurring headaches in children should also receive prompt medical attention.
At Comprehensive Pain Management in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, our dual board-certified anesthesiologists and fellowship-trained pain management specialists have helped many headache sufferers using a multispecialty treatment approach that may include physical therapy, psychological support and behavioral modification. There’s an excellent chance we can help you with your headaches, too.
Dedicated to helping you overcome pain.
Over the years, we have accurately diagnosed painful physical conditions in thousands of patients, then successfully controlled or eliminated their headaches while improving their quality of life. We have helped people return to work, sports, activities, hobbies and lifestyles. Discover how we can help you.