Headaches can be very difficult to both diagnose and treat effectively. There are several different types of headache
syndromes, and a correct diagnosis is extremely important in leading further work-up and treatment options.
The most common types of headaches tend to be tension-type headaches, which are often described as a "squeezing" or "pressure-like" sensation that tends to feel like a band across the head. These headaches are commonly attributed to stress, lack of sleep, medications, menstrual cycle, as well as several other causes. However, other causes of headache (such as migraine
, for example), can appear to be very similar, which is why it is important that you establish care with a doctor
Subtle clues may exist in your history and physical exam that can help your doctor determine which type of headache syndrome is affecting you. He/she can ask you more detailed questions about the triggers for your headaches, associated symptoms such as nausea or visual changes, family history of headaches, what time of day your symptoms are worse, etc.
Based upon these answers, your doctor should be able to treat you with a medication more specific to your type of headache and hopefully give you relief from your pain.