Headaches are a common complaint that nearly everyone will experience several times in life. The main symptoms of headaches Arlington are a pain in the head or face that can be throbbing, sharp, or dull. Most of the time, people take medications like aspirin and acetaminophen for all their headaches. While these drugs can relieve symptoms, they only work for a short time, leaving you in a perpetual cycle of taking painkillers without addressing the root cause of your headache.
Determining your headache type is the first step in foiling your frequent headaches. Sometimes a headache may be a symptom of an underlying health problem or has no apparent cause. You can determine the type of headache you have by closely examining your headache signs and symptoms, keeping a headache log, and identifying your triggers. For example, you may notice that your head hurts after eating certain foods or smelling scented products. Below are the symptoms and treatments for different types of headaches.
Tension-type headaches are the most common type of headaches that affect both sides of the head (bilateral). The pain can be mild or moderate and varies significantly in frequency – it can be occasional or last for 15 days in a month (chronic). Most people with tension headaches describe the pain as a dull ache or pressure around the head. The pain worsens with activities like bending and walking up the stairs and is typically responsive to over-the-counter medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.
If you have a chronic tension headache, your healthcare provider may recommend daily prescription medications such as antidepressants to manage the pain. Alternative therapies like acupuncture, biofeedback, massage therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy may help if your chronic headache is due to stress.
Migraines are the second most common type of headache, which is prevalent in women compared to men. Usually, migraines cause moderate to severe pain that worsens with activities like climbing steps. The pain is generally pulsating and can affect one or both sides of your head. Besides headaches, migraines may cause nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to stimuli.
Migraine treatment aims at relieving symptoms and preventing future episodes or attacks. Knowing your migraine triggers is usually helpful in preventing migraines or lessening the pain. Migraines can improve with treatments like:
- Rest is a silent, dark room
- Small amounts of caffeine and massage
- Hot or cold compresses to your head or neck
- Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin
- Prescribed drugs, including triptans.
- Preventive medications like propranolol, metoprolol, and amitriptyline.
Cluster headaches are a type of primary headache which cause the most severe symptoms. They occur in groups or clusters, typically in the spring or fall; the pain may be intense with a burning or stabbing sensation. You may also feel the pain behind one of your eyes or in the eye region. During a cluster period, the headaches occur one to eight times daily. The headaches may go into remission for months or years and recur in the future.
If your head hurts despite taking pain relievers, visit your doctor at Neuropathy and Pain Centers of Texas for treatment to improve your quality of life.