Headache or head pain usually refers to pain in your head, face, or upper neck. The frequency or intensity may vary depending on the actual cause of the pain or the type of headache. The pain may be sharp, throbbing, constant, or dull. Head pain may also be caused by injuries or trauma such as concussions.
Advanced Sports & Spine offers customized head pain treatment in Charlotte. Our integrative approach to pain management includes non-surgical, non-opioid treatments. Dr. Ahmad establishes customized treatment plans based on patients’ needs.
There are multiple types of headaches. Each is characterized by its symptoms and severity. The intensity and frequency of headaches may vary. Treatment may include medication, stress management, lifestyle changes, injections, and therapies.
Head pain may also be the result of an injury such as that sustained in a car accident or sporting event. A head injury is a trauma to the brain, scalp, or skull. Injuries range from mild to severe and may include bumps, bruises, concussions, and more.
Head pain may vary in severity, location, and the types of headaches it causes.
A migraine is more than a regular headache. It can involve nausea, intense pain, and sensitivity to light or sound and is often accompanied by warning signs, such as an aura of light. Most people who experience migraines have triggers for the pain, such as caffeine, chocolate, or stress. Managing head pain from migraines may involve preventive and pain-relieving treatments.
As one of the most common types of headaches, tension headaches may be mild, moderate, or severe. Patients describe the pain as having their head squeezed on both sides. The pain may be behind the eyes or in the head and neck. Common triggers for tension headaches include tight muscles, TMJ disorder, driving or staring at a computer screen for extended periods, and sleep problems. Tension headaches may be chronic or episodic with pain lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to a week or more.
The occipital nerves run through the scalp. When they are inflamed or irritated, it causes severe piercing, throbbing pain in the upper neck, back of the head, and behind the ears. Occipital neuralgia may be caused by pinched nerves or a traumatic injury. It may be a primary or secondary condition, in which case it could be related to osteoarthritis, disc disease, tumors, diabetes, or more.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head or body, often during sports or an automobile accident. The hit causes the head and brain to move or snap rapidly back and forth creating chemical changes in the brain. It may or may not include a loss of consciousness. Although a concussion is usually not life-threatening, its effects can be serious, such as brain damage, and appropriate medical attention is needed.
Head pain may range from mild to severe. The pain may be piercing or throbbing, dull or sharp, constant or fleeting. The symptoms of head pain vary from patient to patient depending on the underlying cause.
While many headaches subside on their own with over-the-counter pain relievers or simply time and rest, severe or chronic headaches may not. If you have serious, chronic, or debilitating head pain that affects your quality of life, contact a health professional. A doctor who specializes in pain management, like Dr. Ahmad, can evaluate your head condition.
Different types of headaches may respond to different therapies. If you experience a headache at home, you may try pain relievers, cold or hot compresses, dimming the lights, cooling the room, or drinking water. For some people, caffeine or relaxation techniques ease their head pain as well. If you have serious or chronic head pain, contact your physician.
If your head pain is severe or does not go away with rest and at-home measures such as over-the-counter pain relief, ice, or heat, it is time to contact a physician. Additionally, if you have any new or unusual symptoms, contact your doctor. An evaluation is necessary to determine the cause of your headache, if there is an underlying condition, and the severity.
Migraine headaches can be debilitating with pulsing, throbbing head pain. Additional migraine symptoms include nausea, weakness, and sensitivity to light and sound. However, some migraines may have warning signs signifying a more significant issue. Patients who experience an aura or flashing lights with their migraines may be at an increased risk for stroke.
If you are worried about your migraine symptoms or experience migraine auras, speak with your healthcare professional.
While migraines can affect patients of all ages, women under the age of 40 are more commonly afflicted with migraine pain. There is a correlation between migraines and hormones. By ages 50-55, migraines begin to subside on their own. However, the exact timing varies among patients depending on triggers and other risk factors.
Although many people experience headaches from time to time, daily head pain does not typically occur. If your headache lasts more days than not, you may have chronic headaches. Schedule an appointment with your pain management team for an evaluation to determine the cause of your head pain.
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