woman holding head trying to relieve her headache

My Head Hurts! All About Headaches and Your Relief Options

Headaches literally make your head spin— and finding relief isn’t always easy. We’ve all been there. About 90% of Americans have at least one headache a year. Mild ones can ruin your day, and more severe ones can be debilitating. No matter the situation, the goal is to get rid of the pain and be comfortable. But why do we all have to deal with headaches? And what can be done about it?

Types of headaches

There are actually three kinds of headaches. The first is primary headaches, which is when the headache is the only concern. They’re categorized in two ways: episodic and chronic. Episodic headaches happen every once in a while, while chronic ones are regular. Examples of episodic headaches are migraines, tension, and cluster headaches. These are some of the most common afflictions people experience.

Secondary headaches are the result of another condition. Allergy or sinus headaches are a common example. This is when you have head pain as a result of an allergic reaction or sinus infection. Other examples of secondary headache include hormone, caffeine, and hypertension.

When you need to seek medical attention

Headaches normally shouldn’t last more than two days. If they do, it’s time to see your doctor. Another time to get medical attention is if you get an abrupt, severe headache, or one that comes after a recent head injury. Additionally, if you have headaches more than half of the days in a month, you could possibly have a chronic condition. If your headache comes with trouble speaking, seizures, confusion, or a fever, you should seek medical attention soon.

How we can help

At-home treatments like rest, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), cold packs, and massages should be your first line of defense. However, if none of these work, you’re not out of luck. The physicians at Capitol Pain strive to provide integrated, comprehensive pain treatment to help you feel your best. Our physicians will take their time assessing your situation and coming up with a plan that uniquely works for you. Depending on your symptoms, your relief could come from antidepressants, anticonvulsants, or opioids. Learn more about what we can to help you.