Headaches can come and go for a lot of people. But for a certain set of the population, suffer from chronic headaches that are so persistent and painful that they make life difficult. If you suffer from headaches more than 15 days a month and have been experiencing it for more than three months, then there is something wrong. You need to consult with your doctor for treatment and inquire about potential solutions. Here are some things they might recommend.
Identifying The Type of Headache
The first step that doctors will do is to try to identify what type of headache you are experiencing. For those who suffer, there is no difference in what sort of headache they are experiencing. But if your doctor is going to give you the correct medical solution, then they have to know what sort of headache it is. The simplest is the tension headache. This comes from increased stress in the neck and shoulder muscles. The pain in them spreads out up to the head area. Next, there are migraines. These are primarily neurological. They also are much more severe than normal headaches. Expect nausea and vomiting as the worst symptoms. Finally, there are cluster headaches. No one knows what causes them, only that they can be very painful.
With knowledge of what you’re experiencing, your doctor should be able to give you something for the pain. The go-to solution for chronic headaches is medication, and there are several choices out there. You will likely be recommended a lot of over-the-counter medications out there. This includes aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, and more. The main limitation against these is that they can cause liver failure if consumed too much. Additionally, they might not be as effective.
More powerful drugs are available but these will require a prescription, which is what doctors can give. Instead of treating the pain, these medications try to prevent the headaches from happening at all. Beta-blockers have proven to be very good at treating high blood pressure. The blood passing through the brain could be causing the migraines so lowering the pressure might help. There are also anti-seizure medications like topiramate that have proven themselves as good at preventing headaches. Finally, botulinum toxin or botox might be better known for its cosmetic purposes but its muscle relaxant effects can help relieve tense muscles.
Seeking Alternative Treatment And Support
While medication can be helpful, there are other treatment choices out there. These are for when medications are not effective or when they need a bit of additional help. There are several that you can use for yourself, depending on what you want. The easiest to accept is simple massage therapy. Going to a masseuse once a week to help ease sore and tense muscles is very relaxing. This is exactly what people facing stress headaches need.
The next step is a visit to a chiropractor. Chiropractic treatment can feel like a massage, but the goal is to realign the body’s skeleton and muscles. This is surprisingly effective. Acupuncture is a more invasive form of treatment but its ability to relax the nerves has been proven, at least when it comes to headaches.
Besides needing physical solutions, sufferers with chronic headaches also need a way to cope with them mentally. Getting a solid support group can be a good first step. Knowing that you are not the only one can be very helpful. Counseling should also be considered.
Keeping Track For Further Treatment
Finally, you should be keeping a headache journal. This is an excellent way to track symptoms and whether medication and treatments are being effective. Have a notebook where you catalog each day’s headaches. Being aware of how long and severe these headaches were. You should also try to determine what may have triggered them. This can help pinpoint exactly what causes them for future medication. Besides the headache, you should also detail what you did to try to relieve the pain. Note whether you were successful or not. Knowing which treatments are effective can help improve the future handling of your migraine issues.
Chronic headaches are a massive problem if left alone. The constant pain can disrupt a lot of your daily activities and reduce your effectiveness at work. This can lead to further issues like depression and anxiety. Physically, really bad headaches can disrupt sleep patterns and cause other medical issues. Taking steps to prevent or even resolve your headache issues is a good move. If you do it right, you can say farewell to your headaches or at least make them bearable.