Most people experience headaches at some point in their lives, but chronic headaches or migraines could indicate a more significant health problem. Diagnosing the cause can be challenging, and in some cases, it can take years of tests and searching to figure out what triggers your pain.
What are Headaches?
Contrary to popular belief, headaches aren’t actually pain in your brain. Rather, it’s the brain’s way of telling you when her parts of your body hurt. TeensHealth from Nemours explains that most headaches happen in the nerves, blood vessels and muscles that cover a person’s head and neck. In some cases, the muscles or blood vessels swell or tighten, causing pressure to the surrounding nerves. When this happens, the nerves send a signal of pain messages to the brain, which is when you feel a headache.
What Causes Headaches?
Unfortunately, there is not one clear cause for what causes a headache. It can be due to a number of different issues. However, many people suffer from headaches. In fact, up to 75% of adults from 18-65 have had a headache in the last year, and of those, 30% have reported migraines. Some of the most common causes of headaches are:
Prolonged tension or stress
Headaches caused by stress or tension are also called tension or muscle-contraction headaches. When we get stressed, our bodies feel it. The more stressed we become, the more tense our muscles get. Due to this, muscles in the head and neck become tightened and tense.
What we do during the day and at night can also cause headaches. For many people, not getting enough sleep can trigger a headache. For others, eating food they’re sensitive to. Additionally, consuming too much alcohol is another common cause for frequent headaches.
For migraine sufferers, things like bright lights, loud noises, or overwhelming smells can trigger a headache attack. A migraine is pulsating pain that is often recurring and typically takes place on one side of your head. These attacks can make it hard to sleep, go to work, eat, talk, or be anywhere but a darkened room.
Medical conditions or injury
When a person suffers from a medical condition or has an injury, headaches can be a side effect. Illnesses like the cold and flu, concussions, and other conditions that cause inflammation in or around the brain can cause the pain you feel.
When to See a Doctor for Headaches
Many people have minor headaches every now and then that don’t warrant a trip to the doctor, however, it can be complicated to know just when a headache should be worrisome. If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek the advice of a medical professional:
- Changes in the patterns, frequency, or intensity of your episodes
- Pain that get worse with movement
- Head pain accompanied by fever, visual disturbances, stiff neck, numbness, or slurred speech
- Sudden pain
How are Headaches Treated?
With headaches, understanding the cause of your pain is essential. Here at Interventional Pain Associates, Dr. Saleemi begins each patient’s care with a comprehensive assessment to understand your health history, your lifestyle, and your symptoms.
When it comes to pain, there are often many factors involved. We will look at your stress levels, your diet, your environment, your age, and more. After we find our results, we not only will develop a treatment plan that addresses your body, but your mental and emotional well-being, too.
We offer many different treatment options for your head pain. Your customized treatment plan may include several different therapies, such as:
- Physical therapy: exercises, stretching, or massage to help relieve tension
- Dietary advice: helping you understand what foods to avoid that could be causing your episodes
- Interventional procedures: like therapies that deliver medicine, steroids, or healing modalities directly to the areas of the body that need it
- Alternative treatments: like yoga, chiropractic care, or acupuncture
- Botox: a cosmetic treatment that has been used to also prevent migraines
Make an Appointment with Dr. Saleemi
If you have too many headaches and finally want relief, book a consultation with Dr. Saleemi today. To schedule, request an appointment now.
We treat low back pain, neck pain, knee pain, migraines, headaches, and more. Call us to book your appointment today, located in Austin, Texas.