Updated: Jun 2
We all have headaches from time to time. In fact, the majority of the population experiences one to two headache days each month. But if you have headaches more than once a week, especially if they're accompanied by other symptoms, then they could be a sign of something more serious.
If you are reading this, chances are that you or someone you know has headaches. Unfortunately, it is also likely that these headaches were getting worse rather than better. And now you don't know what to do. Headaches can be frustrating, especially when they become painful and intense.
They might seem small, but if you ignore them long enough, they can end up being a big problem. A pain that grows gradually over time — from a little throb here to some pressure there — is one of the scenarios when any headache feels like a big deal.
In this blog, we'll discuss why headaches should not be ignored. You must know about the causes of headaches and why it requires medical attention from a New York pain management specialist.
Frequent Headaches Are Not Normal
When you have a headache, it can be hard to tell if it's something to worry about. Headaches are so common that most people get them without any special notice. However, if you have a headache every day or several times a week, there's a good chance it's not normal. Also, some headaches are worth paying attention to — especially if they're happening on a frequent basis.
A headache that doesn't go away within 24 hours should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible because it could indicate an underlying condition. It's important to seek the expertise of a pain specialist if you have developed frequent headaches causing you pain and discomfort. The sooner you do, the more likely you'll be able to find an effective treatment.
If you think you might have a migraine or another type of headache, here are some symptoms to look out for:
Sudden onset — A headache that comes on suddenly can be an indicator that something serious is going on in your body that needs medical attention right away.
Pain level — If your headache feels like it's splitting open your head or pounding in your skull, see a specialist right away — especially if it's accompanied by nausea or vomiting. These are signs of something more serious than just a common headache.
Visual disturbances — Some headaches are associated with visual disturbances such as flashing lights or blind spots in your vision (called an aura) before the pain sets in.
Loss of balance or dizziness — Migraine sufferers often feel unsteady on their feet or have the sense that their environment is tilting around them during an attack — even when they're sitting still. This can result from changes in blood flow to the brain that cause it to swell slightly and press against nerves inside your skull.
The Causes of Headaches May Surprise You
If you don't know why you're getting headaches, you're missing out on finding the right solution. Headaches aren't always caused by something serious, but it's best to get to the bottom of what's causing them before they start interfering with your daily life.
There are many factors that may trigger or worsen headaches. These include:
Stress — Stress can cause headaches in some people, especially if they are under constant pressure or have trouble relaxing when they need to. Headaches may also result from job-related stress, financial problems, or other sources of emotional distress.
Sleep disorders — Changes in sleep patterns, such as insomnia, can trigger headaches in some people. Some medications can also cause sleep disorders and headaches including antidepressants and blood pressure medications.
Medications — Certain drugs, including pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen, can cause headaches as a side effect. In addition, medications used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease, or depression may also trigger headaches among certain patients.
Alcohol consumption — Drinking too much alcohol over time can lead to dehydration and nutritional deficiencies that affect brain function; chronic alcohol abuse has been linked with migraines.
If your headaches interfere with your daily life, then they should not be ignored. While a number of different things can cause headaches, sometimes they are actually not "headache" headaches. Often times they can be attributed to problems in the neck or upper back or early warning signs of a migraine or other type of headache or a symptom of an underlying condition or disorder.
It's better to see a pain specialist who can help you figure out the cause of your headaches and then give you options for dealing with them.
Headaches Can Affect Your Life
Headaches are common, but sometimes they're more than just a nuisance. They can be debilitating and affect all aspects of your life — from work to socializing to sleeping and eating.
The pain and discomfort of headaches can be overwhelming. They can happen at any time of day, making it difficult to work or even get out of bed. But you don't have to suffer in silence or rely on medications that can cause side effects.
If you have chronic headaches, you may wonder if there's anything you can do to get rid of them for good. The good news is that there are many different treatments available for chronic headaches that can help address the root cause of your pain.
Many people don't realize that there's more than one type of headache. It's important to understand what kind of headaches you have so that you can find the right treatment and avoid some common mistakes that can make your condition worse. Here are some of the types of headaches:
Migraines — People with migraine headaches often get them on one side of their head and have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and pain. Migraines can become chronic if they're not treated properly or if the migraine medication isn't effective enough.
Cluster headaches — Cluster headaches are rare but very painful. They occur in groups, often several attacks per day, and last from 15 minutes to three hours each time. They're characterized by severe pain around one eye and sometimes also on the temple or forehead. The pain may make it hard for people with cluster headaches to speak or open their eyes.
Tension headaches — This is the most common type of headache (often called muscle contraction headache). These headaches are usually felt at the back of the head and neck. They can last from 30 minutes to 3 days, and they may be worse when you're hungry or thirsty, when you're lying down or when you bend forward. The pain can be so severe that it disrupts your daily activities, including sleep patterns.
Sinus headaches — These are caused by inflammation of the sinuses (air cavities) behind the nose, eyes, and forehead. You may experience tenderness around your eyes or face as well as pressure above your eyes when suffering from sinusitis.
Headaches are one of the most common reasons people seek medical care. The good news is that headaches are usually easy to diagnose and treat. A pain specialist can help and will take a different approach to treat these issues.
A Pain Specialist Can Help Manage Your Headaches
The best way to manage and treat your headaches is to see a pain specialist—someone who knows exactly where you should start looking for answers. A pain specialist can help you find the cause of your headaches and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific condition.
When you go in for your regular checkup, the doctor will take a look at your vitals and otherwise give your health an overall evaluation—but the headaches themselves probably won't be addressed. Instead, a pain specialist will ask much more specific questions about the details of your pain and how it affects your life.
The specialist can also help diagnose whether you have migraine headaches, which are different from regular headaches and can help you find the treatment that works best for you. If you're looking for a pain expert around New York, try All of Pain. We specialize in the latest developments in pain management.
There are Many Different Treatments for Headaches
Don't wait to visit a specialist if you're experiencing headaches. Instead, get the help that you need as soon as possible. The good news is that most headaches are treatable and easy to resolve.
Also, remember that there are treatments available that aren't just painkillers—if these work for you, it's worth looking into ways to get them covered by insurance or by using health savings accounts so that you don't have to worry about the cost.
Depending on the cause, you may have to try a few different types before finding one that works best for you. But there are some treatments that can ease pain and discomfort while also preventing future attacks from occurring. So here are some ways to treat your headaches:
Avoid triggers — Headache triggers include bright lights and loud noises, as well as specific foods such as cheese or chocolate. Try to identify what causes your headaches so that you can avoid them in the future.
Get enough sleep — Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep each night to stay healthy and refreshed. If you're having trouble sleeping, talk with a health professional about possible treatment options.
Reduce stress in your life — Stress is one of the most common causes of headaches among adults and children alike — particularly among people who suffer from chronic headaches like migraines or tension-type headaches every day or every week. Relaxation techniques such as meditation can help relieve stress and improve overall health and well-being.
Eat better food choices — To reduce the risk of getting headaches, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables — ideally organic since they don't have added chemicals or pesticides that could trigger headaches — along with whole grains like brown rice.
Try alternative therapies — See a physical therapist if you have recurring neck pain or stiffness that causes headaches. In addition, acupuncture, medical massage therapy, chiropractic care, and yoga may help ease the tension that contributes to headaches.
Acupuncture aims to unblock energy flow in your body by sticking needles into specific points on your skin. Massage therapy uses touch to relieve muscle tension and stress in the body's soft tissues (such as muscles). Research shows that both methods may help reduce headache symptoms.
Exercise regularly — Regular physical activity can help prevent headaches by reducing muscle tension, improving circulation, and increasing levels of serotonin — a neurotransmitter that helps regulate pain signals in the brain.
Exercise also increases oxygen flow throughout your body, which helps relieve stress and improves mood. Some people find that regular exercise helps to reduce their symptoms, although it's not clear why this is true for some people but not others.
Treat Your Headaches Before it Worsens
Headaches are a common occurrence that most people experience at some point in their lives. There are many different types of headaches—ranging from minor to severe—but they all have one thing in common: they can be very painful and debilitating. However, it's never a good idea to simply ignore headaches because they may be a symptom of something more serious.
If you experience headaches regularly, make an appointment with a medical professional to determine the cause of these headaches. A pain specialist can help you learn more about the cause and recommend treatment to reduce your pain and even get rid of the problem.
Untreated headaches can lead to debilitating pain and a reduction in quality of life. So don't let persistent headaches interfere too much with your everyday life. Instead, get it treated by a New York pain management specialist as soon as possible and take steps towards relieving yourself completely!