When you have a headache, it's easy to feel as if your entire life is on hold. You still have to go to work and deal with life, but your head is pounding so hard that there's no way you can think straight. It's even worse if it's one of those days where the headache seems to get worse and worse until you're miserably crippled by pain. You might be tempted to stay in bed all day, but that won't make your headache go away.
An estimated 90% of adults will experience a headache in a given year. Many people deal with the pain of headaches on a regular basis. While there are many reasons for headaches – the good news is that there are treatment options available at our New Jersey pain management center for relieving your headaches. And the sooner you realize this, the sooner you can start utilizing some headache management techniques to stop the pain and frustration of dealing with these pesky headaches.
What are the different types of headaches?
There are many different types of headaches. Some occur when blood vessels in the head swell and cause pressure on nerves; others occur when muscles around the head contract or relax too much; and still others are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Some are caused by physical factors, while others may be caused by stress or anxiety. The most common types include:
Tension-type headaches: Tension-type headaches are the most common type of headache and can be defined as moderate to severe pain that is felt above one eye or both eyes. They often feel like a band is squeezing around your head and can last for several hours or even days at a time.
Migraine headaches: Migraine headaches are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light or sound. The pain from migraines can last from 4 hours up to 72 hours, but most people experience relief after 3 days of symptoms. Some people have auras before the migraine pain starts. The aura is often described as flashes of light, seeing spots or wavy lines in your vision.
Cluster headaches: Cluster headaches are episodic attacks of severe pain on one side of the face, usually around the eye area. However, they can occur anywhere on the head or neck area as well as behind the eye. Cluster headaches are often accompanied by tearing of the eye, runny nose, and increased saliva production. They tend to occur on the same side at regular intervals (usually between one week and two months) over a period of years.
What trigger headaches?
Headaches are a common problem that can affect anyone at any age. They are not life-threatening, but they can interfere with your daily activities and cause pain and frustration. For some people, certain triggers can bring on a headache. For others, there is no obvious cause for their headaches. The most common cause of headaches is muscle tension in the neck, face, and scalp. This can be due to poor posture, stress, and anxiety or injury. Other causes include:
• Infections – colds, flu, sinusitis, and tonsillitis can all cause headaches.
• Medication – this is usually a side effect of taking painkillers for other conditions, such as arthritis or cancer pain. Some cold remedies contain ingredients that can also cause headaches.
• Stress – affects your entire body and may cause muscle tension, which can result in headaches or make existing ones worse.
• Dehydration– lack of fluids makes it harder for your body to absorb water from the bloodstream into cells where it's needed; this can also make existing headaches worse (See tips on how to avoid dehydration).
• Hormones – extra estrogen in women at certain times in their monthly cycle can trigger migraine attacks; this is why many women suffer migraines just before their period starts each month (known as premenstrual syndrome or PMS).
In some people, headaches are caused by injury or trauma to the head and neck area. If this is the case for you, then seeking treatment right away is important so that you do not cause further damage or injury to your body.
How to manage headache pain?
Headaches can interfere with your daily activities, including work, school, social events, and relationships with friends or family members. These disruptions may make it difficult for you to function normally on a daily basis. If you're having trouble coping with your headache pain, here are some things that you can do:
Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps prevent headaches by keeping blood pressure normal and reducing the chance of dehydration. Water also helps flush out toxins from your body and reduce inflammation in your muscles and joints.
Eat well-balanced meals. Include foods rich in vitamins B6 and B12, which can help prevent migraines. Foods rich in magnesium may also help prevent migraines. Some examples include nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, potatoes, and bananas.
Reduce stress. Reduce stress in your life as much as possible through exercise, meditation, or other relaxation techniques. If stress is causing your headaches, these simple steps can help lower your stress levels and reduce the number of headaches you get each month.
Avoid triggers. Avoiding triggers helps prevent headaches from coming on in the first place. It may also help relieve symptoms when they do occur. It may take time to figure out which triggers affect you most, so keep track of what happens before a headache starts. You may want to write down what you ate and when or keep track of any stressors in your life at the time of an attack. Then make changes accordingly — like avoiding certain foods or drinks or taking deep breaths whenever possible during stressful situations.
Find a treatment plan that works for you. Once you've identified your triggers, it's time to put together a treatment plan. Our pain experts can help you find the best treatment plan for your headaches. Treatment will depend on what type of headache you have, how often it occurs, and whether or not there are other symptoms involved. You may need to try several different treatments before finding one that works best for your headaches.
How can pain management help?
If you have headaches that interfere with your daily life, pain management may be right for you. With this approach, our pain specialists work together to identify triggers and manage symptoms so you can get back to living a full life without pain. In fact, many options available for headache pain management can help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Pain management is about helping you find the right treatment plan for your specific symptoms and pain level. The pain management process helps relieve your pain, improve your outlook on life, and return you to a state where you can enjoy the things you used to do.
The goal is to prevent headaches from happening or make them less severe when they do happen. This includes lifestyle changes, exercise, and other treatments that may help reduce your pain levels or make them more manageable when they occur.
Managing your pain through medication doesn't always improve other aspects of your health, such as depression or anxiety. When you make lifestyle changes instead of relying solely on prescription drugs, however, it's easier to get a handle on these issues so they don't interfere with your daily life either.
You may be able to reduce your need for pain medications by using alternative treatments like physical therapy, biofeedback, and acupuncture. These therapies can help you manage your pain without the side effects of prescription drugs, like drowsiness or dizziness that can make it hard to perform daily activities.
Don't Let Headaches Rule Your Life
Don't ignore a headache just because it's "just" a headache. If it interferes with your daily activities or prevents you from doing things you want or need to do, it's time to get help. All of Pain New Jersey pain management center provides the most advanced resources that can help you manage pain. In addition, we can help you find the treatment that works best for you and provide support through your recovery process. With a variety of different treatment options available today, there's no reason to let headaches interfere with your life.