Headache is a general term used to describe pain in the head, face or neck. Most people will experience an occasional headache during their lifetime. But for some, headaches can be chronic and severe, making day to day activities difficult. If you’re suffering from chronic headaches, SSM Health Neurosciences can help you determine the cause of your pain and tailor a treatment plan to bring you relief and improve your quality of life. Find a headache specialist near you to start your path to pain free living.
Types of Headaches
Your first step to relieving pain is to determine the cause and type of your headaches. There are two categories of headaches, primary and secondary.
Primary headaches are caused by a headache condition itself and account for 90% percent of all headaches. There are three types of primary headache: tension headache, cluster headache, and migraine.
- Tension: the most common type; result from stress and muscle tension
- Migraine: often come with symptoms other than pain, like nausea and sensitivity to light
- Cluster: occur in groups with pain-free time in between; more prominent in men than in women
Secondary headaches are the result of an underlying condition that causes head pain, such as a sinus infection, head trauma or tumor. Head pain can also result from problems with the eyes, ears, neck, teeth or sinuses. In these cases, the underlying condition must be diagnosed and treated first to stop the headaches.
Headache treatment largely depends on the type, severity and frequency. Your SSM Health provider will perform a thorough exam and ask you detailed questions about your headache history to determine the best course of treatment.
Many headaches can be treated with conservative measures, such as diet, sleep modification or over-the-counter medications. Others respond to stress-reducing measures, such as massage, meditation and biofeedback. If needed, a wide range of prescription medications are available to relieve your headache pain.
Botox for Migraines
Neurologists with SSM Health Neurosciences have begun offering Botox injections as a treatment option for select patients with chronic migraine headaches.
About 20% of migraine sufferers will find they do not respond to oral medications. In these cases, botox may be viable option. Botox treatment cannot prevent headaches, but it can reduce the intensity of migraines by weakening the muscles that are activated by headache signals.
Botox injections are easy to administer and have no systemic side effects. Injections last about three to four months for each treatment.
Neurologists at SSM Health are dedicated to helping you live a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment today and we will work together to create a care plan that brings you relief from your headaches.