Headaches

A headache, also known as cephalalgia, is a continuous pain that affects the entire head including the eyes, temples, and nose. Headache pain can be either sharp or dull and can be classified as either primary or secondary. Dr. Stephen Watson has found that when performing neck surgery, many times the patient will see a 50% decrease in the amount/severity of headaches. 

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What Causes Headaches?

There are many different causes for experiencing headaches. There are physical triggers, environmental triggers, and psychological triggers. These triggers are highlighted below.

Physical Triggers

  • Poor posture
  • Sitting in one position for too long a period of time
  • Sleeping in a position that places the head, neck and spine out of alignment
  • Physical exertion
  • Teeth grinding
  • Jaw clenching
  • Skipped meals
  • Alcohol use
  • Illegal drug use
  • Arthritis
  • Medication
  • Hormonal changes
  • Infection
  • Hypertension

Environmental Triggers

  • Food allergies
  • Sensitivity to food additives
  • Excess consumption of caffeine
  • Changes in barometric pressure
  • Exposure to noise or light

Psychological Triggers

  • Emotional conflicts
  • Lack of sleep
  • Depression
  • Grief
  • Fatigue

What Different Types of Headaches Are There?

Primary headaches are further categorized into types. There are four types of headaches:

  • Tension, the most common primary headache
  • Migraine, a vascular headache that is related to changes in the brain
  • Combination, a combination of a tension and migraine headache
  • Cluster, a severe, less common form of headache

Secondary headaches are the result of a medical condition. They can include some of the following:

  • Sinus headache
  • Hormonal headache
  • Encephalitis
  • Concussion
  • Glaucoma
  • Flu
  • Stroke

Diagnosis of a Headache

There are no reasons why you should to continue to suffer from your headaches. The first step in treating your headache symptoms is to visit your Dr. Watson for a physical examination and an evaluation of your symptoms. Dr. Watson may recommend diagnostic tests, such as:

  • CT scan
  • MRI

Based on your test results, Dr. Watson may refer you to a specialist who focuses on headaches.

Complications of Headaches

Unfortunately, often a headache may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. Contact Dr. Watson if the headache you are experiencing is associated with any of the following:

  • Severe pain
  • Occurs after a strike to the head
  • Gets increasingly painful
  • Occurs during physical activity
  • Occurs every day
  • Headache pattern is different
  • Accompanied by fever
  • Change in vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Pain increases when chewing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Pain in the ear or eye
  • Convulsions
  • Disorientation
  • Absences from work
  • Prevents you from participating in activities

Prevention & Treatment of Headaches

Keeping a headache journal with information about the following will provide helpful information for Dr. Watson as to why your headaches are occuring. Somethings you should be writing down are:

  • Date
  • Time of day
  • Weather conditions
  • Diet
  • Sleeping pattern
  • Emotional state of being

If a headache occurs with more frequency, perhaps three or more times each month, preventative measures should be taken. Some of these measures may include:

  • Biofeedback
  • Meditation
  • Massage therapy
  • Exercise
  • Medication
  • Elimination of trigger foods

Schedule Your Appointment Today

For more information or to schedule an appointment, give Innovative Spine Care a call today at (813) 920-3022! Our practice serves Tampa and the surrounding areas of Florida.

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(813) 920-3022

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Tampa, FL 33626

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