Targeting Chronic Headache Pain

Following low back pain, chronic headaches and migraines are one of the leading causes of chronic pain. According the American Academy of Pain Medicine, a 2009 survey reported that 20% of adults ages 18-44 had experienced at least one headache within the three months prior to the survey. At its minimum, a headache seems like a minor complaint. We see them daily in our busy lives it seems: overwhelming workloads, lack of sleep, time constraints, change in diet, children, and school. It seems that our lives are filled with so much chaos that the occasional headache is inevitable. When headaches become more regular is when it becomes a problem. At Southwest Spine and Pain Center, chronic pain is assessed and treated to help each patient reduce pain and get on track to living a normal life.

A severe migraine or cluster headache is slightly more complex than taking a couple Ibuprofens and heading to bed early. Chronic headaches are serious ailments that can have debilitating results. There are three ‘main’ types of chronic headaches that physicians nationwide treat every year.

Chronic migraine: This kind of headache is most commonly accompanied with sensitivity to light and nausea. Patients often feel a pulsating or throbbing sensation on one side of their head that causes moderate to severe pain. In order for chronic migraines to be properly diagnosed, the patient must have at least two of these symptoms for more than 15 days straight for at least 3 months.

Tension headaches: Constant tension-type headaches that last hours on end. Patients often describe the pain as a band of pressure around their head. Often times the pain will move to the neck and shoulders. Symptoms of chronic tension headaches are pain on both sides of the head that causes mild to moderate pain, and a tightening or pulsating feeling. Unlike chronic migraines, tension headaches do not give pulsating pain. Patients may also feel sensitivity to light and nauseas at times.

Cluster headaches: Dubbed the “alarm clock headache”, cluster headaches emerge in cyclical patterns and are one of the most excruciating kinds of headaches. Though rare, treatment options are offered to shorten the pain and make it less severe. Physicians and scientists believe cluster headaches may be caused by vascular changes in the brain, but are still trying to determine what the root cause is.

If you suffer from chronic headaches or migraines make an appointment with a specialist at Southwest Spine and Pain Center. The experienced physicians and medical staff see and treat chronic pain patients every day and continue to specialize treatment plans for each patient.

If chronic pain is impacting your life, don't wait to schedule an appointment at Southwest Spine and Pain Center. With three locations and growing, the pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center are dedicated to helping those who suffer from chronic pain live the life they want to! To schedule an appointment, visit our locations tab!

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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