What are headaches?
Headaches are among the most common type of pain that is suffered by people. Headaches are characterized by a sharp and persistent pain being felt by the patient in his head or the region of the neck.
Headaches that are the main problem for which no other cause can be determined, are considered to be primary headaches (Cohan, 2012). On the other hand, headaches which are caused as a result of another disease or disorder are referred to as secondary headaches.
What causes headaches?
Headaches can be caused from numerous reasons, with the most common cause being tension or stress. When a person is under stress, he is likely to get a headache. Such headaches are usually very mild in nature but do not go away easily. Additional causes of headaches may include:
- Alcohol, particularly red wine
- Certain foods, such as processed meats that contain nitrates
- Changes in sleep or lack of sleep
- Poor posture
- Skipped meals
Other causes of headaches are migraines, brain tumors, stroke, high blood pressure and meningitis. The headaches that result from these disorders or diseases are intense in nature and can be accompanied with other symptoms too.
What are the symptoms of headaches?
The symptoms of primary headaches which are caused by tension and stress include mild, throbbing pain in the head that originates from the base of the skull. This pain is not very intense in nature but is consistent and does not go away easily until proper medication is taken.
The symptoms of secondary headaches that are caused due to another disease or disorder vary depending on the disease being suffered by the patient. Patients suffering headaches because of migraines will also exhibit symptoms like vomiting and fever while those that have high blood pressure to thank for their headache will also feel pain in their chest and forehead region.
How are headaches diagnosed?
The diagnosis of headaches is not that difficult. The Los Angeles Pain Management Doctor just has to do a physical exam to check whether the pain is being caused due to an external injury or is resulting from an internal issue. In case of an injury, the LA pain doctor typically makes use of radiological diagnostic means like CT scans and MRI to determine if there is an identifiable cause.
The use of these diagnostic tools is also used by doctors to check whether the headache is being caused due to a tumor or not. Tension induced headaches are generally diagnosed by the doctor by simply asking the patients about their daily routine and what they have been doing since the headaches started.
What are the Treatment Options for headaches?
The headaches caused by tension and stress can be easily treated by taking pain killers and anti-depressants. This however, is not going to work if the headache is being caused due to another reason. In cases where the headache is resulting from migraines, the Pain Management Doctor in Los Angeles will most likely prescribe a different set of medications that will include triptans, ergots and midrin.
According to Sacks (1992), sleeping before the commencement of a migraine can be very effective in preventing it from happening. Occipital nerve blocks may be extremely beneficial for migraines and headaches due to irritation of the nerves in the back of the head and neck area.
Along with acupuncture, biofeedback and oxygen, additional treatments may include:
- Botox Injections
- Sphenopalatine Nerve Blocks
- Occipital Nerve Stimulation
- Occipital Nerve Blocks
- Cervical Facet Injections
- Supra/Infraorbital Nerve Blocks
- Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections
- Supratrochlear Nerve Blocks
What the bottom line is with headaches?
There are multiple types of headaches which may be sparked by a number of reasons. Treatment with a pain clinic in Los Angeles may decrease the severity and frequency of headaches. Call the California Pain Network today to be connected with pain management Los Angeles trusts at (310) 626-1526.