If you’re suffering from headache pain more than 15 days per month, most doctors would agree that you’re experiencing chronic headache pain. You’re not alone. In fact, approximately 45 million people in the United States suffer from severe headaches.
While no headache pain expert can guarantee a “cure,” the pain managements specialists at Tri-State Pain Institute have the training and experience to best diagnose and treat your headache pain.
When To Seek Help
Is your pain “normal” or does it require more serious attention? Each type of headache has its own characteristics and some may need to be treated in a specific manner. Consider if any of the following apply to you:
- Headaches significantly interfere with your ability to function at work, at home or socially.
- Your primary care physician has been unable to determine the type or cause of your headaches.
- A number of headache treatments have been prescribed for you but nothing has worked effectively.
- You have another medical condition or take daily medication for a chronic medical condition.
- You have become dependent on pain medication or feel you take painkillers too often or in too-high doses.
- You are often tense and anxious, or feel down and “blue,” unable to shake feelings of depression and despair.
Diagnosing Your Headache Pain
To understand how to treat your headache pain, the Pain Institute’s pain experts need to learn specifics about you and your medical history, including:
- Your complete medical and headache pain history. The location, frequency and other characteristics of your headaches, as well as your sleep habits, family history, and other potential headache triggers will be examined.
- A physical and neurological exam. Special diagnostic tests may reveal problems other prior tests have not.
- A psychological assessment. These tests can help identify any stress related or other psychological triggers.
- A nutritional assessment. A thorough investigation of your diet will help determine whether or not your eating habits are the cause of your headaches.
- Review of previous and present headache therapies. A closer look at what’s worked for you, and what hasn’t, may reveal what areas a headache specialist should concentrate.
- Starting a daily headache diary. You will be encouraged to keep a diary of your headaches, including their severity, frequency, pain relievers used and relief obtained, as well as any causes of each headache. Monitoring your pain and pattern could determine the path of treatment.
Remember, success may not come overnight. Clinically comprehensive treatment, from initial consultations through comprehensive evaluations and complete implementation, could take a number of hours and clinic visits. This highly individualized approach has only one goal in mind: to determine the cause of your headache pain and give you a plan to help prevent and manage it.
Your Headache Pain Treatment
Because of the complexity of headaches, more than one treatment is often recommended. Each person’s headache has its own characteristics and may be treated in a different way. Your customized plan might include different medications, relaxation techniques including biofeedback and physical therapy. The pain experts at Tri-State Pain Institute also may recommend diet or exercise changes or other lifestyle alterations as part of your comprehensive treatment plan.