[New York Pain Management] Chronic Headaches? The Latest Strategies and Treatment You Might Not Know
Updated: Sep 16, 2022
Chronic headaches can be debilitating and cause immense frustration and suffering. To the unsuspecting individual, chronic headaches are perceived as an occasional nuisance that comes and goes. But for those who live with them on a daily basis, chronic headaches can be a low-grade burden that robs people of their joy and happiness. In many cases, this debilitating condition can occur when head tissues are injured or repeatedly stressed. Some widely known causes of chronic headaches include prolonged exposure to certain prescription drugs, genetics, and numerous medical conditions.
For this reason, many seek out treatment from our New York pain management specialists to relieve their headaches. However, there are new and evolving treatment options and lifestyle changes that you can try to help relieve chronic aches and pains, including headaches. In this article, we will discuss some of these strategies for chronic headaches that you may not have heard about.
If you have chronic migraine or headaches, you know how challenging it can be to manage. It can affect every aspect of your life, from your ability to work and spend time with friends and family to your mood and self-esteem. But maintaining good overall health is important to prevent and treat chronic headaches. Some lifestyle changes that may help include:
You may think that keeping track of how often and when you get headaches isn't necessary, but it's actually one of the best ways to figure out what triggers yours. For example, if you notice your headaches tend to occur during certain times of the day or after eating certain foods, this could help you avoid those triggers if they're easily avoidable.
You may not know why you're having headaches or how they're affecting your daily activities until you write down what happens before, during, and after each headache attack. Write down when each headache occurs — noting whether it's on a daily basis, at specific times of the day, or during particular activities — and list any other symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, or sensitivity to light or sound. Write down all medications you take, including vitamins and supplements, along with the dosages and frequency of administration.
Keeping a diary allows you to track when your headaches occur and what symptoms are associated with them so that you can take steps towards managing them better in the future. [Suggested article: How A Pain Diary Helps You Battle Chronic Pain]
Determine what triggers your headaches, such as stress, fatigue, or certain foods — then avoid those triggers as much as possible. When it comes to food triggers, make sure you keep a food diary for a few weeks so you can identify which foods affect you most strongly. Then eliminate these foods from your diet for several months to see if there's an improvement in your symptoms. If there is, reintroduce one trigger at a time until you've identified which ones cause problems for you personally.
Many patients with chronic headaches have found that stress management can help reduce the frequency and intensity of their headaches. Stress is often the underlying cause of many types of headaches, including chronic ones. Stress can lead to muscle tension in the neck and back, as well as emotional responses that trigger headaches.
Consider getting help from a physical therapist for stress management techniques, which include meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga. If you have been diagnosed with chronic headaches, you may want to try these techniques as part of your treatment plan in order to reduce stress levels. [Suggested article: How To Manage Stress For Chronic Pain Sufferers]
In addition to medication and lifestyle changes, innovative strategies and complementary therapies such as acupuncture and massage therapy may help improve chronic headaches.
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and is gaining popularity in the U.S. today for headache treatment. It is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting very thin needles into specific points on your body in order to release blocked energy flow and restore the balance between your mind and body. Acupuncture is generally safe when performed by a highly trained professional.
A massage can relax tense muscles and improve circulation, which can relieve tension in your neck and shoulders that cause pain or triggers headaches. Studies show that massage therapy can be helpful for both migraines and tension headaches. Medical massage is performed by a specially trained licensed therapist who is able to use various massage techniques that manipulate muscles and soft tissues.
Though you may be most familiar with Botox as a treatment for facial wrinkles, it's also being used to treat a variety of chronic headaches. It has since been approved for this purpose and is now a popular option. The injection is intended to block the transmission of pain signals in the nervous system, which can help reduce pain and decrease the frequency of migraines.
Help From A Pain Management Specialist
If you're currently suffering from a debilitating chronic headache, you might not realize there are so many new options available today. These treatments can help reduce or even prevent the frequency and severity of your headaches.
We hope that you'll find this information on chronic headache treatments to be informative. Remember that different people deal with their headaches in different ways, and it's often just a matter of experimenting with the right combination of treatments to find the solution that works best for you.
Chronic headache management starts with a correct diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. The right treatment plan will depend on the type of headache you have and your medical history. Talk to one of our New York pain management specialists about the latest options for chronic headaches. By discussing your options, you'll be able to find the treatment that works for you.