Don’t let migraines
rule your life
It’s time to get help if migraines are keeping you from work and other important parts of your life. Yet few people who suffer from severe headaches get medical help. Only 4 percent of those who do seek medical care go to a headache and pain specialist, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. While there is no cure for migraines, you should know that our headache and pain specialists can help you manage or ease the pain.
At Novant Health, our providers are trained to diagnose and treat all types of headaches and migraines. We want to help you get better and stay well by having our specialists develop a treatment and management plan for you.
Just as no two patients are alike, no two treatment plans are the same. We are committed to finding solutions that best meets your needs and fit your lifestyle, including:
- Personalized medication therapy and management
- Diet modifications
- Lifestyle changes to help reduce stress
- Botox injections
- Nerve blocks
- Intravenous (IV) medication for acute resistant headache
- Referral for physical therapy
- Pain psychology to help you understand factors that contribute to your condition
The term headache describes various types of pain.
There are two kinds of headaches. A primary headache occurs without a medical condition as its suspected cause, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. By comparison, an illness or other medical problem usually is considered a factor for secondary headaches. Sinus problems, head injuries, a fever or stroke can cause a secondary headache by pressing or pushing on sensitive nerve endings, the institute reports.
A primary headache describes these and other types of pain, according to the institute:
Tension headaches are more common than other types. These cause mild to moderate symptoms and can last up to a week.
Migraines occur more often among women, and the pain can last hours to days or longer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms often worsen with activity and may include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise, fatigue, dizziness, and problems with vision and balance.
Triggers for migraines may include:
- Certain foods and odors
- Loud noise
- Cigarette and cigar smoke
- Hormonal changes
- Sleep disturbances
- Weather changes
Cluster headaches, which occur in cyclical patterns, are considered to be among the most painful. A cluster can wake you up at night and cause symptoms such as a droopy eyelid, tears, nasal congestion or intense pain in or around one eye.
A series of frequent headaches, known as cluster periods, may last weeks or months. Remission periods often follow, giving you a break from the symptoms. The remission may last for months or years. Fortunately, cluster headaches are rare and not life-threatening. Treatment can reduce or prevent the attacks and improve your quality of life.
If you suffer from headaches and experience one or more of the following, get an evaluation for proper diagnosis and treatment:
- Frequent and severe headaches that interfere with work and leisure activities
- Pain that does not respond to the treatment you are receiving
- Use of one or more over-the-counter medications to keep the pain under control
- Emergency room visits due to recurrent headaches
- Receiving disability benefits because of headaches
- The character and/or severity of your headaches recently changed
- You are older than age 50 and recently had a new type of headache
Our goal is to provide an accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. Most of all, we want to help you improve your quality of life.