Did a headache blow your mind? Have you postponed a list of things to do because a migraine decided to strike? AFM looked to Austin Precision Pain Consultants and Austin Migraine Relief to learn more about this mysterious pain, and how it can be eased. Grab a tall glass of water and read below, if your brain is feeling up to it.
Is something wrong with my brain?
As of today, nearly 15 percent of American adults deal with a painful amount of migraines, and over 80 percent of us deal with a tension headache at one point or another. This affliction has been ruining moods and functions since the first century, CE, when Aretaeus of Cappadocia attempted to categorize the pain headaches can bring. Any type of head pain on the scale is one of the most commonly experienced of all physical discomforts. You’re not losing your mind, we promise.
Headaches, and migraines, and neck pain, oh my! Where does it all come from?
Although they are among the most popular of ailments, headaches still remain a little vague on when and how they can occur. Chronic or temporary headaches are complex diagnostic entities that can stem from intrinsic brain problems, neurologic and vascular, or they can rise up from the cervical neck structures, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc. So how do these sensitive areas become inflamed? Any given reason, from your ponytail or your hat being too tight, your computer screen flashing too brightly, to a case of dehydration, or grinding your teeth at night.
What is the difference between a headache and migraine?
It’s important to decipher the difference between experiencing a headache or a migraine, to secure a faster treatment with better results. A temporary headache lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to a week, and usually occurs on both sides of your head, the forehead, or the back of your neck. Cluster headaches are more painful and occur on one side of your head, disappearing and reappearing throughout their course. The pain of a sinus headache may be confused with that of migraines, but typically co-occur with symptoms such as fever, stuffy nose, cough, and the like.
Migraines yield a worse type of pain—they are more often than not accompanied with nausea, pain behind one eye or ear, flashing lights, sensitivity to sound, vomiting, and/or temporary vision loss. There are two types of migraines, with aura and without aura. An aura describes the premonitions a person feels when a migraine is approaching. This includes neck stiffness, irritability, feeling less mentally alert, or numbness in the face or hands. If you are prone to migraines and begin to feel any of these symptoms, it’s time to prepare for the worst of it.
It hurts, fix it! There are many types of cures for head pain, but overall you want to get the most benefit with the least amount of risk. Taking too many over-the-counter pain pills can cause more harm in the long term, and it only temporarily masks the pain. If you do choose this method, avoid drugs with caffeine or multiple ingredients, and take a liquid form so your body absorbs it faster. At the Austin/Central Texas Migraine Relief center, headache and migraine patients undergo an individual exam with Dr. Jaeckle, and determine a personalized program of therapy and rehabilitation that is pain, drug, and needle-free. At Austin Precision Pain Consultants, treatments may include interventional spine injections, Botox therapy for chronic migraines (the first and only preventative method approved by FDA for this affliction), or peripheral nerve stimulation that can control the pain. Whatever cure you choose, be sure to consult with a doctor first, and keep your head up!