While many people experience an occasional headache, those with migraines or other chronic headaches may be missing out on a fulfilling lifestyle. At the University Pain and Spine Center, with offices in Englewood Cliffs, Freehold, Somerset, Clark, and Monroe Township, the pain management specialists provide comprehensive care for all types of headaches. Available treatments include pain-relieving medications, Botox® injections, and other therapies that treat existing pain and prevent additional headaches. Call the University Pain and Spine Center nearest you or request an appointment online today.

Migraine Headaches

Migraines may be treated with pain-relieving medications and with rest in a darkened room. People who experience migraines regularly may also take medications such as beta blockers or antihistamines. These can reduce the frequency and severity of the headaches.

What causes a headache?

A headache describes discomfort or pain in your head. This pain can also radiate into your neck and scalp and range from mild to intense.

There are a number of health and environmental factors that can increase your risk for a headache. In a primary headache, your pain may relate to dysfunction in the processes of your brain. Primary headaches include:

  • Migraines
  • Tension headaches
  • Cluster headaches

In a secondary headache, the root cause of pain typically relates to an underlying medical condition or trigger like:

  • Trauma
  • Brain tumor
  • Meningitis
  • Sinus congestion
  • Medication overuse
  • Myofascial pain syndrome

Degeneration of the discs in your spine due to aging or trauma may cause cervicogenic headaches when the discs press on your spinal column.

How are headaches diagnosed?

To determine the root cause and type of headache you’re having, the team at the University Pain Medicine Center takes time to review your medical history, your job, and other aspects of your life.

Often, they can determine the type of headache pain you’re experiencing based on your symptoms and the location of pain, such as:

Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches cause intense, burning pain in one side of your head or behind your eye. They can also cause a runny nose or nasal congestion and potentially last for weeks at a time.

Migraine headaches

Migraine headaches cause severe, throbbing pain usually on one side of your head. Migraines can be chronic if you experience 15 or more headaches a month.

Tension headaches

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache that causes you to feel a tightening around your head. This kind of headache occurs when the muscles in your scalp and neck are overly tight, often due to stress and poor posture.

Thunderclap headaches

Thunderclap headaches are a warning sign that may indicate you have an underlying blood vessel issue. These headaches are serious and come on suddenly and severely, lasting up to five minutes.

If you experience a thunderclap headache, you need to get immediate medical attention at the nearest emergency room or by calling 911 to prevent serious health complications.

When you experience persistent head pain or chronic headaches that aren’t treatable with over-the-counter medicines, don’t delay an evaluation at the University Pain Medicine Center.

How are headaches treated?

Your treatment plan for recurrent or debilitating headaches depends on the type of headache you have and its cause.

The team at the University Pain and Spine Center customizes your treatment plan and may recommend a combination of treatments to address existing pain and prevent additional headaches. This can involve:

  • Medication
  • Myofascial release
  • Stress reduction techniques
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Cold laser therapy
  • Physical therapy

University Pain and Spine Center also offers Botox® injections to treat chronic migraines. Botox temporarily paralyzes the nerves that contribute to headache pain, and with regular therapy, can prevent additional migraines from occurring.

To find out which headache treatment is right for you, call the University Pain and Spine Center office nearest you or request an appointment online today.