Headaches

Pretty much every person has experienced a headache at some point in their lives. While they can be annoying, headaches are often a sign that something else is amiss within the body and they should be taken seriously. Whether you have severe, frequent migraines or mild, occasional headaches, it is always best to speak to a doctor about your symptoms, triggers, and possible treatment options. At AICA Orthopedics, we have multiple orthopedic doctors and specialists who not only diagnose why you’re feeling pain and discomfort but also provide effective, personalized treatment for your headaches and related conditions. Contact our office today if you’re experiencing any pain related to the head.

When visiting AICA Orthopedics, you’ll talk with a friendly doctor who will provide a simple examination, ask questions, and administer imaging tests to verify the cause of your pain and what condition you have. In some cases, it may be a headache and other cases it may be something more severe. This is why it’s important to undergo diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions.

What Causes Headaches?

Headaches can be mysterious at times. Because so many things can cause them, it can be hard to pinpoint the underlying issue that is causing the headaches. When you visit AICA Orthopedics for headache relief, our staff will discuss a number of things to help determine the root cause of your headaches so that we can minimize them and help you live headache-free once again.

Types of Headaches

You may know that you have migraines or only mild headaches, but they can still fall under a different category of headaches that will give us some insight into treating them. The most common types of headaches include the following:

Tension Headaches

These are the most common types of headaches. They are usually mild and are typically caused by muscle tension in the scalp, neck, and shoulders. Tension headaches may affect the entire head, but the pain is generally more intense near the back of the neck and the temples.

Sinus Headaches

Sinus headaches are another common type of headaches, but these are caused by sinus pressure or inflammation of the sinuses. These usually come about when an individual is congested or dealing with a cold or allergies.

Cluster Headaches

While less common, cluster headaches are far more severe than the other types mentioned above. They can last anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours, and they usually occur a few times a day for several consecutive days. The pain is usually extreme and is characterized by burning, piercing, and throbbing.

Migraine Headaches

Migraines affect 1 in 7 Americans and they can be quite debilitating. They are often accompanied by light and sound sensitivity, nausea, and even vomiting. They come about from triggers at times, but they have also been linked to head or neck trauma.

Medicine-Induced Headaches

Sometimes, overuse of medication can bring about a headache. It’s even possible for a headache to worsen after taking medication due to the reaction of the drug with your body.

Diagnosing a Headache

While a headache seems like a relatively simple condition to diagnose and treat, it’s not always that simple. Since headaches are related to the head and brain, diagnosing pain in that area becomes a little more complicated. For most mild headaches, imaging tests may not be explicitly required to diagnose, but it may be recommended to rule out other potential conditions that are causing the head pain.

Although CT scans and x-rays aren’t typically used for most mild headaches, they may be utilized on a case-by-case basis depending on what your doctor can glean from an examination and discussion with you about the pain you’re having.

MRI scans are the most common forms of imaging tests used for diagnosing a headache if there are other complications related to your headache. An MRI uses radio waves combined with powerful magnetic fields to generate a detailed image of soft tissues, organs, and other bodily structures.



Diagnostics

MRI

Chronic headaches can be diagnosed simply with the use of scans that emit radio and magnetic waves to produce an image. These MRI’s are the most commonly utilized tests by doctors to discern the degree and nature of the complication that is causing the headaches.

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CT scan

Although done less often, sometimes CT scans will be run to evaluate cases in which the cause of the headaches is less obvious and still remains undiagnosed following the previous tests. They can indicate a host of additional issues that could be bringing on headaches.

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Treatment Options for Headaches

Our staff of doctors will work to determine the type or types of headaches you’re experiencing, and then they’ll move forward with treatment recommendations. Treatment is personalized for you based on the type, location, and severity of the headache, taking into account lifestyle and other variables to ensure that it will be effective for you.

For most headaches, surgery is not required. Most headaches can be treated with medication, non-invasive treatment practices (like chiropractic), lifestyle changes, and more.

Chiropractic is an incredibly effective method of treating headache pain, so that may be the first option recommended for you. Chiropractic is effective by focusing on the spine, which is responsible for housing the nerves that communicate between the brain and the rest of the body. While headaches take place in the head already, realigning the spine to its natural, effective position can alleviate nerve pressure which can result in relief from headache pain.

If more treatment is necessary, you may be directed to one of our neurologists, who specializes in conditions and parts of the body related to the nervous system, including the brain. Additional tests may be done, such as electrophysiologic testing (NCV/EMG) to further diagnose other kinds of disorders that may instead be indirectly related to the head or brain.

From there we can explore orthopedic options, physical therapy, surgical possibilities, and more. The most important part of headache treatment is ensuring that nothing more serious is going on, and our doctors will be thorough in their examination and diagnosis of your headache pain. This is why diagnostic imaging tests may be recommended even if your headache doesn’t seem like a big deal at first.

Contact our staff today to learn more about headaches, treatment, our staff, and more. Book an appointment to get to the root of your headache pain and find relief!

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