Headaches are a common problem that for some can be a debilitating condition that makes daily life challenging. At Dignity Health Medical Foundation, headaches are treated as a neurological issue. We help you recognize the symptoms, find the cause and treat the pain.
Causes of common headaches
Common headaches are generally caused by one of two things:
An inflammation, spasm or stretching in the scalp or membranes that cover the brain and in the muscles of the face and jaw.
A temporary distortion of the blood vessels that supply the brain. They tighten, then relax and expand. The enlarged blood vessels press against nerves, causing pain. A shortage of serotonin, a chemical in the brain, can cause the vessels to constrict.
Treatment of common headaches
About 9 in 10 headaches are harmless episodes that can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers. Alone or together with the support of rest, ice packs or relaxation techniques, common headaches are often easily treated.
Care for chronic headaches
For more severe or ongoing pain, such as a migraine, it may be beneficial to seek the help of a neurologist. Headaches differ from person to person, and can be approached from a variety of angles. At Dignity Health Medical Foundation, physicians begin with a thorough assessment of factors that may provide clues to headache triggers including lifestyle, environmental and emotional considerations. From the information gathered, treatment strategies are developed to avoid these triggers and stop headaches before they start, toward the ultimate goal of relief from chronic headache suffering.
To learn more about caring for chronic headaches, schedule an appointment with a Dignity Health Medical Foundation neurologist today.