Everyone experiences headaches sometimes, but this everyday ailment may be more complex than you’d think. At Excelsior Pain Management in Austin, Texas, Harvard-trained and double board-certified pain management specialist, Jonathan Chin, MD, can help resolve your pain from chronic headaches and prevent them from recurring. To schedule an appointment, call the office today or use the online booking feature.
To understand how to get relief from headaches, it’s important to distinguish between the different types of headaches you may experience. Most headaches fall under one of the following categories:
Migraines are powerful headaches that last for 4-72 hours and usually include symptoms like sensitivity to light, nausea, and vomiting. Migraines are a recurring condition for people who get them.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. They cause pain in the scalp, head, or neck, and a feeling of tightness (or tension) in the affected areas. The headaches you get after sleeping poorly or when you’re stressed are most likely tension headaches.
These headaches are so named because they happen in “clusters,” or during periods of frequent attacks. Cluster headaches cause a severe burning, piercing pain in the area of one of your eyes.
Sinus headaches result from your sinuses, the cavities in your face, becoming clogged and inflamed. The pain can affect the area around your forehead, eyes, or cheeks.
Each type of headache has its own set of potential triggers, and these vary from person to person. The tendency to get a headache in response to certain triggers is often genetic, and it’s possible to prevent many headaches by avoiding triggers. However, if you experience chronic headaches, including migraines, the most effective approach may be to get a treatment at Excelsior Pain Management that directly blocks pain signals.
You may be familiar with Botox as an injectable cosmetic treatment for wrinkles. However, Botox has a number of medical applications and is FDA-approved for managing the pain associated with chronic migraines. Botox blocks neuromuscular activity, so it can prevent the muscle contractions that cause wrinkles and also stop the chemical messengers that send pain signals during a headache in much the same way.
If you experience headaches at least 15 days a month (including tension headaches), and at least eight of those headaches are migraines, receiving a Botox treatment every 12 weeks can dramatically reduce how often you get headaches.
Nerve injections can be effective in reducing the pain and frequency of your chronic headaches, especially for cluster headaches, tension headaches, and migraines. In this procedure, Dr. Chin injects a local anesthetic and corticosteroid directly around your nerves. The medication blocks pain signals and can suppress chronic headaches for months at a time. These injections include:
With a nerve block, Dr. Chin injects nerve-numbing medication into the targeted area to decrease or eliminate pain signals.
Electrical current from radio waves heats and destroys a specific area of nerve tissue, decreasing pain signals.
This procedure involves Dr. Chin implanting a device that uses mild electrical pulses to control pain signals from your spinal or peripheral nerves.
To get relief from chronic headaches, call Excelsior Pain Management or schedule an appointment online today.