Headaches are the most common cause of absenteeism from work and school according to the National Headache Foundation. According to recent studies, more than 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches (70% of these are women), 28 million of these have reoccurring migraines. On top of these figures, it is estimated that 20 million children and adolescents also suffer from headaches. Because of these figures, it is easy to understand why headache treatment is so important.
Headaches can result from many different causes ranging from benign to severe. Headache pain can involve blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and can also be due to things like a cold, fever, sinus infection, environmental chemicals (such as in new carpet or paint), hormones, or withdrawal from substances such as caffeine. The level of pain associated with a headache does not always correspond to how serious the underlying cause is, so it is important to seek the advice from an expert, especially if you are experiencing a new headache, or if your headaches fail to improve.
There are many different types of headaches.
Diagnosing Headache Pain
Due to the numerous types of headaches and possible causes, it is important that the headache is properly diagnosed. A general health history and specific questions related to the headache pain are the main starting points. An examination to check for signs of infection as well as muscle, nerve, and neck involvement will most likely be done. The doctor may also order blood tests or diagnostic imaging such as X-ray, MRI, or CT scan.
Our caring team at SCU Health System can help patients get the treatment that best fits their individual needs. Our team evaluates the best treatment options and educates our patients as to their choices so that they may make an informed decision and play a role in the treatment process. Treatment options available at SCU include: