Gulf Coast Pain Management
Sometimes the Worst Chronic Pain
No matter who you are, where you live or what you do, you almost certainly experience at least one headache a year - 95% of women and 90% of men do. It's one of the most common reasons that people decide not to go to work.
Headaches may occur when you have some type of disorder: a hangover, a
cold, kidney or
liver disease, medication, repetition, sinus trouble,
dental problems, a head injury, brain tumor,
neurologic disorder, or
difficulty with your vision.
Chronic primary headaches however, are a disease all their own. They are often triggered in normally healthy people by stress, emotional factors, foods or odors, fumes in the environment, menstrual periods or even a change in the weather. These types of headaches affect over 50 million people in the United States. If you suffer from headaches, Lynne Carr Columbus, D.O. / Hee (Dennis) S. Lee, M.D. may suspect that your headaches are primary she will first rule out other possible causes. You can help her by keeping a diary of when and under what conditions your headaches begin, where you are and what you do to relieve them. Most people think there are only 2 types of headaches . . . the normal headache and the migraine. However, there are more than just those 2 types.
Types of Headaches:
The first and most common type of headache is the tension headache. This is by far the most common type of headache and affects 75% of all people with headaches. Odds are, you've probably had one of these headaches in the last year. You will feel a steady pain, usually in the back of the head and along the sides of the neck.
The migraine headache affects around 25 million Americans - roughly 18%
of all women
and 6% of all men suffer from these painful headaches every
year. Vulnerability to these
headaches is usually inherited, so if any
member of your immediate family suffers from
migraine headaches, odds
are you might as well. Most migraines cause an extremely
headache is more of a variant of a headache than a completely different
They're not nearly as common as the migraine and are usually found
in men who smoke or
drink heavily. They are called cluster headaches
because, after the first one starts, they
keep coming back for weeks and
even months. Most of the attacks don't last more than
The final type of
headache is known as the rebound headache. If you have any one of the
three types of headaches listed above, you might develop what is known
as a rebound
headache. If you become dependent on painkillers for
stopping those painful headaches,
the medication may interfere with your
body's own mechanisms for controlling pain. As
Most people don't
call the doctor because of a headache, but a headache can indicate
other serious disease that needs immediate attention. The American
Headache Education lists the following warnings that should
prompt you to give
Lynne Carr Columbus, D.O. a call:
You have three or more headaches a
week. You need to take something every
day to relieve the pain.
Fever or a stiff neck accompanies
your headache - which can be a warning sign of infection (fever) or
bleeding (stiff neck) within the brain.
If along with your headache, you're
unsteady on your feet, your speech becomes slurred and your legs or
weak or numb contact a doctor immediately. All of these signs
If your headaches follow a head
injury and you're confused and drowsy your brain may be bleeding, so
contact a doctor immediately.
You're over the age of 50.
You have three or more headaches a week.
You need to take something every day to relieve the pain.
Fever or a stiff neck accompanies your headache - which can be a warning sign of infection (fever) or bleeding (stiff neck) within the brain.
If along with your headache, you're unsteady on your feet, your speech becomes slurred and your legs or weak or numb contact a doctor immediately. All of these signs suggest stroke.
If your headaches follow a head injury and you're confused and drowsy your brain may be bleeding, so contact a doctor immediately.
You're over the age of 50.
Treating the headache:
Most tension headaches can be treated with over the counter painkillers. Some people prefer acetaminophen which is found in Tylenol, while others prefer Advil and Nuprin which contain ibuprofen. Be sure to contact your doctor if your taking any of these medications daily.
Migraine headaches usually don't respond to over the counter drugs as
well as tension
headaches. The most effective drug is serotonin.
Specific migraine drugs might also help
you in relieving your migraine
headache. It is possible to prevent migraines from ever
you know a food you eat or wine you drink gives you migraine headaches,
Rebound headaches are much harder to treat, because even if you do take
headache comes right back after the dose wears off. If
you feel you are suffering from
rebound headaches, please consult your
doctor immediately so he can change your
medication or prescribe
something that will help you. Nerve blocks such as trigger point
injections, occipital nerve blocks, and sphenopalatine ganglion blocks
may also be helpful
to break an acute headache and help prevent future
headaches. Botulinum toxin,
otherwise know as Botulinim, has also been found to be very helpful in
easing the muscular
tension associated with headaches. Ask Lynne Carr Columbus, D.O. if these therapies may