An intense pounding starts in your temples. The pain builds in your forehead and wraps around both sides of your head. Soon you feel a pinching sensation in your eyes. You try to focus on your daily job tasks, but all you can think about is the unfaltering pain in your head.
Does this sound all too familiar? If you answered “yes,” you may be one of the 45 million Americans suffering from headaches.
The Pain Treatment Institute, with pain management clinics in Frisco, Plano, Sherman, Rockwall, and McKinney, Texas, helps patients manage headache pain. Here we explain some of the common reasons you may be suffering headaches and what we can do to help.
Head pain is one of the most common health conditions people face. The pain that comes from a headache is usually the result of signals sent from your brain to your blood vessels and surrounding nerves.
Head pain is usually triggered by lifestyle factors like stress or lack of sleep. Our pain management physicians have the expertise and experience to properly determine the root causes of headaches based on specific symptoms. Some symptoms of a headache include:
- Head pain on one or both sides of your head
- Pulsing, tightening or throbbing sensations
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sensitivity to light or sounds
Headaches can range from mild to severe. Depending on the severity of your headache, you may be unable to perform everyday tasks.
Living with chronic headaches
Almost everyone gets a headache at some point in their life. But if you’re experiencing headaches 15 or more times a month, you may have chronic headaches.
Chronic headaches come in many different forms and levels of severity. Although there are over 150 types of headaches, here are some of the most common:
Migraines describe intense, throbbing head pain that occurs on one or both sides of the head. Sometimes, migraine pain is accompanied by an aura or nausea. Migraines can last for four hours to one day.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and may feel like a tight band is wrapped around your head. They can occur on one or both sides of your head and are often the result of environmental factors like stress or fatigue.
Cluster headaches are the most intense kind of headache, sparking pain in one or both sides of your head. They may occur sporadically for weeks or even months. Many people living with cluster headaches finds the pain so severe they can’t sit still, so they pace.
What causes frequent headaches?
Getting frequent headaches can be frustrating. Doctors still don’t know what causes frequent headaches, but some possible causes may include:
- Tightening of muscles around the head and neck
- Activation of the trigeminal nerve
- Hormonal fluctuation
- Environmental changes
Frequent headaches may plummet your quality of life, so it is important to get help as soon as possible.
Keep a headache diary
Keeping a headache diary can help you draw patterns among potential triggers. You can dedicate a notebook to this or keep track in your phone. Be sure to list details like the date of your headache, how long it lasted, any foods you ate, and any factors that might have caused it.
The more detailed you are, the better. That way when you meet with Sameer Syed, MD, MPH, he can have a better idea of your headache history.
Managing your headaches
No one should have to live with chronic headaches. Most people who get frequent headaches would do anything to end them. While the common headache can be cured with over-the-counter medications, many chronic headaches must be addressed by a specialist.
Dr. Syed has helped many patients manage their head pain so they can live a healthy and happy life. As a pain-management doctor, he can best assess your history of headaches and offer an effective treatment.
He may suggest:
- Botox injections
- Behavioral therapy
- Occipital nerve stimulation
Dr. Syed may also suggest some lifestyle changes to manage your headaches and avoid triggers. Are you ready to stop your headaches once and for all?