FAQ’s on Headaches: Migraines, Tension, Cluster
Headaches can be experienced by anyone at any time. Pain is an indication that the body needs medical attention. There are various causes and reasons that trigger pain like headaches. There are also different types of headaches and different treatments. It’s important to know what kind of headache the patient is suffering from through an accurate diagnosis in order for the doctor to treat the headache appropriately.
What are the Different Types of Headaches?
There are approximately 200 types of headaches in the medical world, but it’s only classified into two main groups. The Primary Headache, which is the headache itself without underlying medical conditions, such as Migraines. The other group is the Secondary Headache, which is just an effect of other diseases or conditions, such as Hypertension or Stroke.
The most common type of primary headache that people suffer from is the Tension Headache. This is also known as the muscle-contracting headache. Based on medical research, 90 percent of the population has suffered from this headache. The pain is usually felt on both sides of the head and is defined like the tightening of the head muscles.
Another type of headache is the Migraine, which is the second most commonly experienced type. Migraines may last from seven to forty-two hours and can be very debilitating. There are no known causes for these pains, but it may worsen with increased activities, exposure to chemicals or allergens, and bright lights.
Cluster headaches, however, are rare compared to the other two types. They affect only two individuals in a thousand people, but are a much more severe form of headache. The pain can be felt on the orbital and temporal areas of the head, and comes in episodic waves.
What Causes these Primary Headaches?
There are no specific or identified facts as to the exact cause of headaches. However, these pains are generally caused by irregular brain patterns. Stress is the top suggestion that may lead to headaches, along with depression and anxiety. Extremes in climates, especially abrupt changes in weather can also cause head pain. Patients who experience a injury or a bump to the head will find that pain is a usual result and may last hours after until treated suitably or symptoms decrease over time time.
How are Headaches Identified and Diagnosed?
This is the most frequently asked question, since headaches are only felt by the afflicted patient. Therefore, it mainly depends on the testimony of the patient. A physician will do a workup before diagnosing the type of headache that a person has. First, an assessment is done. The assessment process is composed of questions regarding the medical history of the patient which includes the history of headaches, the onset, the severity, and the pain medications taken.
Based on the description of pain made by the patient, a doctor can often identify the type of headache. In more complex cases wherein headaches are considered chronic or lingering in a patient for months, a doctor may recommend for an MRI or a brain CT scan. This is the more definitive medical procedure to identify if the headaches have underlying causes.
How are Headaches Treated?
Depending on the severity and intensity of the pain, the doctor usually recommends medications for pain. NSAIDs and narcotics are commonly given in more severe cases and the doses are determined by a person’s age, body mass index, and the intensity of the pain.Muscle relaxants may also be given to remove tension from the muscles in the head and decrease the pain.
Some therapeutic remedies may also be recommended by the doctor. In a migraine attack, for example, a patient could rest in a dark room to prevent an increase in the pain intensity and help alleviate symptomatic pain.
If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic headaches, let Colorado Pain provide the best treatment with pain management Denver trusts. Simply fill out the form on the page or call (720) 306-9575 today!