When Should You See a Doctor About a Headache?

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Headache

Everybody gets a headache from time to time. But if your headaches happen a lot and are severe enough to affect your quality of life, you may need medical attention. Headaches are not always an inconvenience that goes away with time – they can be a sign of a serious medical condition. They can also be debilitating and chronic. Below, we look at four signs you should see a headaches Arlington expert.

1. Frequent Episodes with no Apparent Trigger

It can sometimes be easy to identify certain triggers that bring on your headaches, such as not getting enough fresh air, too loud noises, or not drinking enough water. However, if you cannot pinpoint the cause of your headaches, you should see a doctor who can help you identify and avoid your triggers.

2. Disrupted Sleep, Productivity, and Activity Level

Headaches that affect your sleep, activity levels, and productivity should not be ignored. Chronic headaches can lead to poor sleep quality and stress and poor sleep quality and stress can cause headaches, plunging you into a vicious cycle that harms your quality of life. Seeing a doctor is the only way to break this cycle, sleep better, and be more productive.

3. Persistent or Worsening Symptoms Despite Taking Painkillers

There are several types of headaches, with each having a more effective form of relief. Tension headaches, for example, can be relieved by medications like ibuprofen but the same cannot be said for cluster headaches or migraines. If your headache symptoms worsen or persist even when you take medication, seeing a doctor can help you find a more effective treatment for your type of headache.

4. Increasingly Frequent or Severe Episodes

If your headaches only get worse with time or occur more regularly, you should see a doctor. It could be a sign of a more serious condition like high blood pressure and getting help early can allow for early intervention and treatment.

When Is a Headache a Medical Emergency?

A headache can be a medical emergency. Call 911 or visit the ER immediately if you experience a headache that:

  • Is worse than anything you have ever experienced before
  • Comes on very suddenly and becomes severe very fast
  • Starts after a head injury
  • Is accompanied by fever or a stiff neck
  • Is accompanied by changes in your vision, numbness, or weakness
  • Is accompanied by changes in personality, confusion, fainting, or seizure

How Are Headaches Treated?

Many headache treatments today focus on drug therapy. Sadly, most of these interventions only relieve symptoms like pain without addressing the underlying cause. The best treatment regimen for chronic headaches should begin with a comprehensive diagnosis to pinpoint the triggers and causative factors behind your pain followed by natural treatments like:

  •       Chiropractic care
  •       Massage
  •       Trigger management strategies
  •       Nutrition counseling 
  •       Rehabilitation
  •       Trigger point injections

Chronic headaches can be debilitating and, when you take medications that only mask the underlying cause, you can find yourself in a vicious cycle. The team at Neuropathy and Pain Centers of Texas provides a more wholesome approach to the problem. Located in Texas, the center focuses on addressing the underlying cause of your headaches and promoting natural pain relief. Call their Arlington office today to learn more or make an appointment.