According to the National Headache Foundation, over 45 million Americans suffer from chronic, recurring headaches and of these, 28 million suffer from migraines. About 20% of children and adolescents also experience significant headaches.
Headache pain comes from signals interacting between the brain, blood vessels, and surrounding nerves. While experiencing a headache, specific nerves of the blood vessels and muscles in the head are activated and send pain signals to the brain. What activates these signals is still unclear.
Acute headaches, or headaches that occur suddenly, are typically due to an illness, infection, cold, or fever. Other conditions that can cause an acute headache include inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis), inflammation or infection of the throat (pharyngitis), or inflammation or infection of the ears (otitis).
The most common type of headache among adults and adolescents is a tension headache, also known as chronic daily headaches. These muscle contraction headaches cause mild to moderate pain and come and go over a prolonged period of time. The relentless nature of chronic daily headaches makes them among the most disabling headaches.
Treatment for an underlying condition often stops frequent headaches. When no other condition is discerned, treatment focuses on preventing pain.
Depending on the type of headache you are having, prevention strategies may vary. At times, medication overuse can be contributing to your headaches. If you’ve been taking pain relievers more than three days a week, the first step may be to wean yourself off of them with your doctor’s guidance.
When you’re ready to begin preventive therapy, your doctor may recommend:
- Anti-seizure medications
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Beta blockers
- Botox injections
Unfortunately for some, tension headaches remain resistant to all medications.
If you have chronic headaches and experience a sudden exacerbation, come see us. We provide a quiet environment and treat your headache with gentle and proven techniques, including Intravenous traumeel, lidocaine and magnesium; muscle and neck injections; head and neck blocks and several other options.