What can I do to treat chronic daily headaches?
I have had daily headaches since I can remember which is over 10 years. I have tried physical therapy, sinus surgeries, and many many medications. It interferes with my life (schoolwork, marital, children, productivity). The only thing that helps has been opioid pain medications but I've heard that they can suppress your immune system, which I seem to get sick a lot for my age (25). Not to mention I am weary of addiction. But nothing else has helped and these medications help me function normally and help the pain. And any time a family member finds out I take a narcotic I feel judged. I don't know what to do..Any suggestions?
This is a great question. It is very important that you make an appointment with your primary care doctor or neurologist who is aware of your past medical history and can do an appropriate evaluation and examination and give you the best course of treatment. It is important that you have a doctor that you are comfortable opening up to and feel comfortable with. Chronic pain is very difficult to deal with, not only physically, but mentally. Oftentimes, it can lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. So depending on what your physician uncovers during your exam, he or she may recommend a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist for further treatment. I would also recommend asking your physician about a referral to pain management. There are many new treatments for chronic headaches that these doctors could help you with. You are correct in that being on opioid medication for such a long period of time is not good for your health so it is important that you discuss with your doctor a means to wean off of these addicting medications over time. This can be done in the hospital depending on the extent of your addiction or sometimes as an outpatient. Again, it is very important that you make an appointment as soon as possible to discuss your chronic headaches with your doctor.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
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