Headaches are a normal part of life. According to the World Health Organization, nearly everyone suffers at least an occasional headache. Most of the time, headaches are more of an annoyance than anything. But what happens when headaches become an everyday part of your life, or the symptoms become so bad that you can’t complete your daily tasks? Chronic headaches and migraines can make you feel like your life is falling apart.
If you experience headaches for 15 or more days a month, your headaches are considered chronic. While the symptoms and frequency of chronic headaches may be debilitating, there are ways to treat the problem.
If you suffer from frequent migraines or headaches, come see us at Blue Ridge Pain & Spine Associates. We’ll work with you to diagnose your headaches and create a custom treatment plan.
Chronic headaches and migraines are probably more common than you think. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, about 12 percent of the world’s population deals with migraines. In the United States, about four million people experience chronic headaches.
And when dealing with chronic headaches, the problem doesn’t always stop with the pain. The condition can lead to depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.
At this time, there is no known cause for migraines. Blood vessel constriction and dilation were long thought to hold the key, but researchers have recently reclassified migraines as a neurological disorder. This means that migraines are more centered on the brain, spine, and the nerve pathways that connect them. Risk factors for chronic headaches include:
In some cases, episodic migraines can turn chronic. This is often related to consuming too much caffeine or taking frequent high doses of over-the-counter headache medications.
You should see a doctor if you have more than 15 headache days a month or find that your symptoms lowering your quality of life. Also, come see us at Blue Ridge Pain & Spine Associates if you experience the following symptoms:
Chronic headaches are treated by targeting the pain and the source. You may be surprised to learn that Botox® is the only FDA-approved medication for treating chronic headaches. Botulism toxin, the basis of Botox, is a neurotoxin. When injected into areas around the head and neck, it can block the pain signals that cause chronic headaches. Studies have shown that patients with chronic headache had more pain-free days after using Botox. Your treatment plan may also include:
If you think you have chronic headaches, and you’re ready to put them behind you, book an appointment over the phone with Blue Ridge Pain & Spine Associates today.