Almost everyone experiences headache pain at some point in life. Though most headaches aren’t life-threatening, they can certainly disrupt your day.
At Interventional Pain Associates in Austin, Texas, our pain management specialist, Dr. Sarosh Saleemi, understands how headaches affect quality of life, especially in people who suffer from frequent headaches. Many people with ongoing head pain wait a long time before seeking help.
Why the delay in treatment? Because there are so many myths surrounding headaches, especially the ones that cause frequent pain.
In this month’s blog post, we want to talk about the myths you should stop believing about your frequent headaches.
Myth: All headaches are the same
Truth: There are more than 150 known types of headaches. Yes, some headaches are more common than others — like migraines and tension headaches — but not all head pain is the same or has the same cause.
Certain types of headaches are actually symptoms of other health issues. For example, a thunderclap headache — a type of headache that causes extreme and sudden head pain (like a thunderclap) that lasts a few minutes — may be a sign you have a head injury or brain bleed. If you or someone you love has this type of head pain, get immediate medical attention.
Myth: Big stress equals bad headaches
Truth: Little stressors, like losing your keys or getting stuck in traffic, are more likely to cause headaches than major life changes like the end of a relationship.
Tension-type headaches are often triggered by stress and cause mild to moderate head pain. These types of headaches usually occur from tension in the neck and shoulder muscles that causes pain to radiate up into your head. Do you clench the steering wheel when you’re stuck in traffic? This is the type of tension that can lead to a headache.
Some people have chronic tension-type headaches, which causes head pain 15 or more days a month. If you have frequent tension headaches, you may want to take a look at your posture, especially at work. Looking down at your computer screen places extra stress on the muscles in the neck, causing head and neck pain.
Myth: Headache medicine stops frequent headaches
Truth: Headache medicine is effective when used occasionally. But taking headache medicine everyday to manage your frequent headaches, may lead to medication-overuse headache (MOH).
With MOH, you have persistent head pain that no longer improves with medication. It’s a type of secondary headache seen in people with migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches. Good medical care can help you get control over these headaches, eliminating or preventing MOH.
Myth: Headaches are normal
Truth: Headaches are common, but not something that becomes normal. If you have frequent headaches and at-home care isn’t working, it’s time to get help.
We take a holistic approach to pain, looking at all the factors that may contribute to your headache. We then develop a plan that reduces the severity and frequency of your headaches using a combination of lifestyle changes and medication so you can go back to living your life.
Don’t let your frequent headaches dictate your life. Let us help you get long-term pain relief. Call our office or click the “book online” button to make an appointment with our headache expert.