So, you have a headache, and it's all you can think about. As a sufferer of migraines, you may think you knew everything there was to know about headaches, from the science behind them to the best treatment method to get rid of them. But when they started to reappear in your life after several months and years of absence—severely crippling you during a holiday halfway around the world.
It can be frustrating because all you want to do is get rid of that nagging pain. But, managing your headaches doesn't have to be as complicated as everyone makes it out to be either. Our pain management NYC center can help.
Headaches are one of the most common conditions affecting people worldwide, and they can occur at any age. But what do you really know about headaches? What kind of headache do you have? Do you know the causes? How can you treat it? If not, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about headaches.
Types of Headaches
You've probably had at least one headache in your life, right? How much do you actually know about them? You might not know this, but headaches are extremely common problem for people in NYC. Headaches may also be a symptom of another condition, such as migraine (with aura), tension-type headache, or cluster headaches. It is called a secondary headache.
Migraine is the most common type of vascular headache. Migraines are recurrent attacks of moderate to severe head pain that typically only affect one side of the head. The pain can last for several hours to days and is often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual disturbances such as zigzag lines or blind spots in vision. For some people, migraines may be preceded by an aura —visible changes such as flickering lights or lines—which usually lasts less than one hour before the pain starts.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, affecting many people in New York. Tension headaches come on gradually and may last anywhere from 20 minutes to 7 days. They often feel like tight, band-like pressure or squeezing around your head, neck, and shoulders. Tension headaches usually aren't severe enough to prevent you from doing your normal daily activities.
Tension headaches often go away on their own with self-care steps like exercise and stress reduction techniques like meditation or yoga. But if your tension headaches don't improve after two weeks, talk with a specialist about pain management strategies that may help relieve the pain of tension headaches.
Cluster headaches are a rare form of headache that tend to occur in cycles, with periods of weeks or months when no headaches occur followed by periods of weeks or months when the headaches are nearly daily and quite severe. The pain of cluster headaches is often described as excruciating, with patients often saying it feels like an ice pick driven into their eye. The pain is usually unilateral (on one side), but some people experience bilateral (both sides) pain.
Causes And Symptoms of Headaches
A headache is a pain that occurs in the head or upper neck, often on both sides of the head. The pain may be steady, pulsing, or throbbing. It may feel more like pressure than actual pain. A headache can vary from mild to severe, but it usually goes away within hours. Most headaches are not severe and do not cause problems other than pain. However, if your headaches get worse or happen more often over time, you should talk to a pain doctor to find out if there's a treatment option for you.
A migraine is a type of headache that affects one side of your head and can cause pain that's moderate to severe. The symptoms of migraine vary widely from person to person. Many people have a family history of migraines, but other people may get them only once in their lifetime. Some people get them infrequently (less than once a month), while others get them frequently. Treating the underlying cause is often the best way to treat headaches.
You should see a pain specialist if your headaches are:
New. Headaches that start suddenly in people who don't usually have headaches should see a pain specialist in New York because they might be a sign of stroke or other serious problem.
Persistent. Chronic headaches often require treatment because they can lead to other problems like poor sleep habits, depression, and weight gain.
Changing in pattern or severity over time. The pattern of your headaches can change over time if you have migraines or cluster headaches (very painful episodes that come on at the same time each day).
Headaches can also be caused by other conditions such as sinusitis, allergies, and high blood pressure. A headache may also be caused by:
Overuse of alcohol or caffeine
Stress, anxiety, or depression
Heat or cold exposure
Food allergies (often called food intolerance) or intolerances (such as lactose intolerance)
Exposure to bright light or loud noise
Poor sleep habits
A cold, flu, or sinus infection
Tension in your neck and shoulders (stress)
Clenching your jaw muscles (bruxism)
Bending over a computer screen for long periods of time
Millions of people have a headache at any given time, and about half of them get a headache on more than 15 days in a month. Women are more likely to get headaches than men. Headaches can feel different for different people. For some, they're dull and last a long time (hours or days), while others describe them as sharp or stabbing pains that occur suddenly and last only minutes or hours.
Headaches can be triggered by changes in temperature, weather changes, stress, hormonal changes, hunger, and dehydration. They can also be caused by physical factors like an injury or muscle strain or emotional factors like anxiety or depression.
Headache Pain Management
You may be able to prevent headaches by treating their root cause. Treating the underlying cause means taking steps to stop the headaches from coming back or getting worse. It also means taking steps to reduce your risk of getting another headache.
If you have chronic headaches, it's essential to talk about your pain management options with a NYC pain management doctor who has experience treating chronic conditions. Headache can be really painful, but there are things you can do to it:
Get plenty of sleep every night.
Drink lots of water during the day to stay hydrated.
If you're under a lot of stress at work or home, try deep breathing exercises to relax your body and mind.
Eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables with lots of vitamins and minerals that help ease pain and inflammation within your body.
If you have headaches often, you may have tried over-the-counter pain relievers and other self-care options without success. See a pain specialist to rule out other causes of your symptoms and make sure if they require treatment by a pain management NYC specialist. It's important to understand that there is a lot of variety in how people respond to pain medications. I would suggest you talk with a pain specialist or about what has worked for other patients in your situation, including whether they were able to use any of the non-narcotic pain relievers without developing a tolerance.
Everyone wants to be healthy and free from suffering, yet a lot of people suffer from headaches every day. Headaches can make you so miserable that you don't want to go out. Hopefully, this article will help people in NYC get rid of their headaches and return to a healthy life as soon as possible.