People who suffer from the occasional headache may be assured that they will resolve on their own with some time and lots of water. However, if you suffer from chronic headaches or even migraines, it is not that simple and can even point to a deeper-rooted problem.
Causes of Headaches
Identifying the type of headache you suffer from will help give doctors a better idea of its cause. Below are some of the most common causes of headaches:
- Muscle, nerve or joint problems
Depending on the intensity and frequency of your headaches, it could point to a deeper problem such as temporomandibular disorder (TMD). If your headaches have been persistent and the pain is moderate to severe, seek medical advice.
Types of Headaches
Below are some of the common types of headaches:
- Tension headaches: These usually resolve by themselves within hours.
- Sinus headaches: As implied by its name, sinus headaches occur when your sinuses are inflamed. They are usually accompanied by a runny nose, fever and/or swollen face.
- Migraines: Migraines are throbbing headaches that can last days or even weeks. Common symptoms that accompany migraines include sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, loss of appetite and stomach pain.
- Cluster headaches: Cluster headaches are the most severe of all and sufferers usually experience an intense throbbing behind one eye. The pain can be so bad that teary and red eyes are common, and many sufferers cannot bear to sit still during an attack. These headaches occur during cluster periods that range from 2 weeks to 3 months, and each attack can last from 15 minutes up to 3 hours or more.
When identifying what type of headache you suffer from, your doctor will first ask you some questions about your symptoms, such as where the pain is located, what it feels like, its severity, how long each attack lasts and more. To this end, it can be helpful to note down the symptoms you typically experience before your appointment. A physical and neurological exam will be conducted to identify any symptoms of a deeper-rooted problem and rule out any brain or nerve disease. CT scans, MRIs, and EEGs are standard procedures.
Treatment Options for Headaches
Depending on the type of headache you suffer from, one or more treatment options may be recommended:
- Medications: Pain relivers and muscle relaxants can be prescribed to manage pain, however they may not be an effective long-term solution.
- Therapeutic Botox: Botulinum Botox is safe and effective for preventing headaches caused by chronic migraines. Recommended dosage is well below doses that can cause human botulism.
- Cold laser treatment: If your headaches are caused by TMD, you may want to consider cold laser treatment, a painless and non-invasive treatment that makes use of light photons to penetrate the temporomandibular joint. Each session does not last more than 10 minutes, and patients have reported an improvement in inflammatory symptoms after just 2 to 3 sessions.
Why Choose Head Pain Institute® for Headache Treatment?
At Head Pain Institute®, our team of head and orofacial pain specialists come with a combined experience of more than eight decades. In addition, we hold a Diplomate status from the American Board of Orofacial Pain (ABOP). We have successfully performed more than 12,000 procedures to date, giving our patients a chance at a new, pain-free existence.