If you suffer from headaches on a regular basis, it may be time to seek headache treatment. Your physician will want to ensure there’s no underlying cause, such as a tumor or vision problem, that could be contributing to your headaches. If no potential cause is found, you still have numerous options for treatment to alleviate your pain.
Everyone is unique and your headache treatment likely won’t be the same as someone else’s. Some people may simply need to manage their triggers and make certain lifestyle changes, while others may need to consider medication or a combination of therapies. Here’s what you need to know when treating your headaches.
Start by Identifying Your Triggers
As you wait for the results of diagnostic testing to come back from your GA spine and pain clinic, you can keep a log or journal to track your headaches. For example, you can begin by noticing when your headache first came on, noting the time, any potential stressors and even what you ate and drank that day.
If you can, try to do this for every headache that you have. You should also try to note things such as:
- Where the pain in your head is (near your temples, at the back of your head or all over).
- If you had any other symptoms before the headache came on.
- How long the headache lasts.
- Any noteworthy triggers, such as noise, smells, weather changes or health factors.
- What the pain feels like (is it a throbbing, aching or stabbing feeling?).
Keeping track of this type of information can help you and your doctor potentially identify important patterns or triggers that can help your headache treatment be more successful.
Natural Ways to Treat Headache
If you want to consider medication as a last resort, you can try these natural ways to treat your headache that may be helpful. These methods include:
- Acupuncture. A licensed acupuncturist will insert needles at pressure points in your body to help alleviate pain and tension. Studies have shown that this method of treatment may help people who suffer from tension and migraine headaches.
- Biofeedback. This is a technique that helps you learn how to control your muscles to alleviate tension and reduce stress so you can avoid or improve your headaches.
- Chiropractic. A chiropractor conducts adjustments to your neck, spine and joints to help reduce tension and realign the body to ease muscle strain that could contribute to headaches.
You can also consider cognitive behavioral therapy, which can help you better cope with your pain and improve the way you respond to triggers so that you may be able to avoid headaches. Hypnosis, in which deep breathing and relaxation techniques are used, may also help.
Medication & Botox
There are both over-the-counter (OTC) medications and prescription medications that can help relieve headaches. OTC medications may include Tylenol, Advil and aspirin, but these medications shouldn’t be used to treat chronic headaches, as they can worsen headaches over time.
Other medications your physician may recommend include:
- And others
If you have severe or continuous headaches and diagnostic testing has not revealed an underlying cause, you may need a combination of medications to help alleviate your pain, which can include blood pressure medications, antidepressants, muscle relaxants and even antiseizure medications.
Botox has also been approved by the FDA for the treatment of chronic migraines. If you’re an adult who has a migraine 15 days or more out of every month, with your headache lasting four hours or more a day, you may qualify for this procedure. The injections are done every few months to help prevent migraines.
Headache Treatment Is Always Evolving
Headache treatment is evolving over time as we understand more about what causes headaches and unique triggers for patients.
Cefaly is a new, FDA-approved device that can help prevent migraine headaches. It’s similar in size and shape to a headband and delivers electricity to the forehead, which affects the trigeminal nerve, which is involved in the development of migraines. The device is only used once a day for about 20 minutes, and is a painless and potentially effective way to treat migraines.
Your physician can also talk with you about newer treatments that you may qualify for, depending on your unique headaches.
Make an Appointment at Our Clinic Today
When you experience frequent headaches that impact your quality of life, don’t rely on OTC medication to treat the issue. Find out how you can manage your headaches or potentially even eliminate them by making an appointment with Summit Spine & Joint Centers. Our GA spine and pain clinic has several convenient locations to serve you. Contact us today at (770) 962-3642!