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Tension Headache Treatment From A Craniofacial Pain Specialist
If you have tension headaches, then you might have considered visiting a craniofacial pain specialist. This type of health care provider can help you manage pain in the craniofacial area. This area includes the face and parts of the head. The first step in treating a tension headache is to diagnose where the pain is coming from.
Diagnosing tension headaches
A craniofacial pain specialist will first listen to a description of the patient’s symptoms. There are several things a patient should remember to tell the doctor. One of the most important is a description of the pain. For example, it may be sharp, stabbing, dull or pulsing.
The patient will also want to tell the doctor how severe the pain is. Tension headaches come in many forms and some are more severe than others. It is good for patients to think about how well they can function during a tension headache. Some patients can still go to work during this type of headache. However, other patients may not even be able to sleep at night.
Finally, the location of the pain is another important indicator. It may be on only one side of the head or all over. The pain may seem to come from behind the eyes. Or it could come from the forehead or another location. This will help the craniofacial pain specialist determine what exams to run.
Exams for tension headaches
Some of the most common exams for patients with tension headaches are imaging scans. Patients who have complicated headaches may receive these. A magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, scan can produce a clear image of the inside of a patient’s head. A craniofacial pain specialist may also use a CT, or computerized tomography, scan. This exam uses X-rays to create an image inside the head.
Treating tension headaches
There are many medications for treating tension headaches. Most of these focus on treating the pain. For severe pain, a patient may receive a prescription medication. Some common ones include naproxen, ketorolac and indomethacin.
A patient may also receive a combination medication. For example, a craniofacial pain specialist might recommend aspirin and caffeine combined in one medicine. These can work better than other types of medications. However, it is important for patients to follow the doctor’s instructions with these.
People who have both tension headaches and migraines can benefit from narcotics. Triptans can also relieve both of these headaches. Narcotics have a chance of patients becoming dependent on them. This means that a craniofacial pain specialist will most likely not often recommend them to patients.
Visit a craniofacial pain specialist today
If you experience tension headaches, you should get treatment. Some patients who have tension headaches try to treat it at home. However, using over-the-counter pain relievers can make the headaches worse over time. You can get an overuse headache from these pain relievers. Visiting a craniofacial pain specialist can help you find both answers and treatment.
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