Up to 75% of the world population experiences at least one headache a year. Headaches vary wildly in duration and severity, and they affect everyone in different ways. But one thing is undeniable: Headaches hurt.
Headaches might come to mind first when you think of head pain, but they aren’t the only cause. In fact, a number of other conditions — from spine problems to nerve disorders — could be causing your head pain. Finding effective relief from head pain starts with understanding the causes behind it.
Amol Soin, MD, and our team at Ohio Pain Clinic proudly provide pain management services for all types of head pain. Our pain management team is dedicated to understanding your head pain and finding the best course of treatment to enhance your quality of life.
Migraines and headaches
About 39 million Americans get migraine headaches, making migraine the most common neurological disease. Migraines are a chronic pain condition that typically causes episodes of pain lasting anywhere from a few hours to several days.
Migraine headaches are characterized by severe, throbbing pain that generally affects one side of the head. The migraine attacks may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraines can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. Chronic migraine can significantly impact your quality of life, because it can be impossible to perform at work or school when suffering an attack.
Not all headaches are migraines, but living with chronic nonmigraine headaches can still affect your ability to perform daily tasks. Other common types include tension headaches and cluster headaches. The kind of headaches you suffer can be diagnosed based on their intensity, location, and frequency.
Other types of head pain
Migraines and other headaches might be the best-known cause of head pain, but they’re far from the only cause. Spine or nerve problems may trigger pain elsewhere in your head, such as at the top of your neck or on your face.
The seven vertebral bones at the top of your back are called the cervical spine, and it’s these bones that make up your neck. Neck pain is a condition unto itself, but it’s not uncommon that neck pain radiates to the head.
Degenerative conditions like arthritis or acute injuries that trigger herniated cervical discs or inflammation can cause chronic neck pain. Pain and stiffness can extend to your head, limiting your range of motion and your ability to move through everyday life.
Trigeminal neuralgia, also called tic douloureux, is a pain condition affecting one of the largest nerves in your face. It’s a relatively rare condition, but it causes facial pain that can be so severe it makes even the smallest movements painful.
The trigeminal nerve connects your brain to your face, and it transmits the sensations you feel when your face is touched or you make a facial expression. When you have trigeminal neuralgia, movements are perceived as pain sensations. Something as simple as encountering a breeze may generate a sharp, searing pain in your face or head.
Head pain can severely impact your quality of life, but our team is here to help. We work with you to understand your symptoms, diagnose your pain, and find a pain management plan that addresses the root cause while reducing your pain symptoms.
Find relief from your head pain at Ohio Pain Clinic. Call us at 937-434-2226, book a consultation online, or send us a message today.