Saturday, July 2, 2022
HomeWhat Type Of Doctor Deals With Migraines

What Type Of Doctor Deals With Migraines

A Process Of Elimination

Your Houston Chiropractor Dr Gregory Johnson Treats Migraine Headaches, Tension Headaches,

Why all the questions? Doctor want to rule out other types of head pain, such as sinus headaches and cluster headaches, as well as other potential causes. Red flags that something else is going on include fever, weight loss, runny nose, eye tearing or sudden onset of headaches. Doctors use a method called SNOOP to elicit whether any of these worrisome symptoms could be a sign of a serious health situation such as a brain aneurysm or brain tumors . Your physical exam will include vital signs and simple neurologic tests to help rule out those possibilities. In the rare case that your doctor finds cause for concern, blood tests and/or imaging studies will be ordered to pinpoint the root cause, says Dr. Seng.

How Can I Find Out About Local Clinics

Just below you will find a list of the specialist migraine and headache health services in the UK that are known to The Migraine Trust.

Our headache clinics list is for information only and focuses on helping doctors to refer patients. It is the policy of The Migraine Trust to include only NHS clinics and registered charity clinics in this list of migraine and headache health services. The Migraine Trust does not recommend any particular products or treatments for migraine, nor refer enquirers to specific health professionals, organisations or products.

How To Prevent Menstrual Migraines

If you get migraines often, you may want something that is taken on a regular schedule to prevent your migraines before they begin. The following are some options mentioned by the American Migraine Foundation as well as some new medications.

  • Birthcontrol: It’s worth mentioning again that hormonal birth control is a preventive measure for migraines. Taken regularly, birth control can maintain an even estrogen level, preventing dips that can trigger headaches. Deciding to take birth control pills or other hormonal contraceptives is a decision that extends beyond treating your migraines. Other factors should be taken into account, such as safety considerations, potential side effects, and whether you want to use a daily pill, an injection every few months, or an IUD to prevent pregnancy. See our birth control pill guide for more information.

  • Magnesium: As discussed above, taking magnesium once a migraine sets in won’t do much to treat it, but taking it long term as a supplement has been shown to reduce the number of migraines patients experience.

  • Newly developing therapies: Another newer class of drugs called anti-CGRP monoclonal antibodies can help with migraine prevention. The goal is to lower the number of migraines every month. Some examples are Aimovig , Ajovy , and Emgality . These drugs are given intravenously, or in a vein in your arm, every 4 to 12 weeks in a clinic or at home.

Don’t Miss: Comorbid Headaches

What Kind Of Doctor Do I See For Headaches

Although many different types of doctors can try to treat headaches, few of them have the specialized training necessary to focus on headache care. In fact, only one type of doctor is known to have the most in-depth understanding of headaches, why they occur, and how to treat them.

That doctor is a neurologist.

This is a doctor who specializes in the disorders of the nerves and the nervous system. That includes all the nerves running throughout the body, the brain and the spinal cord. All of these systems work together to carry electrical impulses back and forth to and from the brain.

Headaches come in many forms and can be caused by a variety of underlying problems. In the long run, however, virtually all of these have to do with a disruption of the usual pattern of nervous function. A neurologist is specially equipped to get to the root of the problem.

What Causes A Migraine

How To Tell The Difference Between A Headache And A Migraine

The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache its because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Its unclear why your nerves do that.

You May Like: Does Motrin Help Headaches

What Is A Period Headache

There are different types of headaches, depending on the cause and symptoms. Let’s break down how different types of headaches are categorized.

Tension headache:

This is the most common type of headache affecting 80% of Americans. It’s often caused by stress, dehydration, or exhaustion. Tension headaches usually cause a pressing or tightening pain on both sides of the head.


This is an intense, throbbing headache that affects 29.5 million Americans. Women in particular are affected, as about 75% of people who get migraines are female. Migraines can cause pain on both sides of the head, but one side, usually in the temple or behind the eye.

Menstrual migraine:

A menstrual migraine or period headache is a type of migraine. It occurs anywhere from two days before to three days after your period begins and may last until your period is over.

Please note that this discount is solely from Cove and not related to The Pill Club or from engaging with The Pill Club website.

Why Do You Get Menstrual Migraines

Throughout your menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone hormone levels fluctuate in order to prepare your body for pregnancy. During your period, your estrogen levels are at their lowest. Estrogen plays a role in how sensitive you are to pain, so when estrogen levels are lower, you may feel more pain in the form of migraines, cramps, and back pain.

These hormone level fluctuations may help explain why migraines are more common in women than they are in men.

It can be hard to identify whether a migraine you experience during your period is actually a menstrual migraine, or if it’s a migraine happening during your period. However, it was observed in one study that patients with menstrual migraines tend to experience more symptoms associated with migraines for a longer period of time, and have a worse experience overall.

We asked Dr. Sara Crystal, Neurologist and Medical Director at Cove, about why women get migraine attacks around their period.

Dr. Crystal said,

“The worsening of migraine is probably related to the drop in estrogen levels that occurs about 2 days before menstruation. Estrogen has a role in the perception of pain.”

Recommended Reading: Weaning Off Nortriptyline

What About Menstrual Migraines Morning Migraines

If you’re wondering: where is Hormonal Migraine? Morning Migraine? Complex Migraine? Well, these technically aren’t official Migraine types anymore, according to the IHS. I asked Peter Goadsby, MD, one of the top doctors influencing IHS and AHS policies why these new terms were adopted.

His explanation: the World Health Organization needed a common language to define all the Migraine sub-types so that doctors and patients around the world could compare notes and exchange data. That seems like a very good idea.

If you suffer from Menstrual Migraine attacks three days before every period, you can keep calling that. Ditto for Weather-Related Migraine and Morning Migraine, the kind that wrecks your day before it even starts. As Migraine Warriors, we tend to think of the occasions when attacks occur and major symptoms to name our pain.

Personally, I discovered after decades of suffering from Chronic Migraine without Aura that my own pain didn’t start at 23, but instead at 12 with Abdominal Migraine complications and a Migralepsy seizure.

How Are Migraines Treated

How to Treat Migraines at Home – 8 Tips

Migraine headaches are chronic. They cant be cured, but they can be managed and possibly improved. There are two main treatment approaches that use medications: abortive and preventive.

  • Abortive medications are most effective when you use them at the first sign of a migraine. Take them while the pain is mild. By possibly stopping the headache process, abortive medications help stop or decrease your migraine symptoms, including pain, nausea, light sensitivity, etc. Some abortive medications work by constricting your blood vessels, bringing them back to normal and relieving the throbbing pain.
  • Preventive medications may be prescribed when your headaches are severe, occur more than four times a month and are significantly interfering with your normal activities. Preventive medications reduce the frequency and severity of the headaches. Medications are generally taken on a regular, daily basis to help prevent migraines.

Also Check: Naproxen For Migraines

What Are The Types Of Headaches What Type Of Headache Is A Migraine

There are over 150 types of headaches, divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. A migraine is a primary headache, meaning that it isnt caused by a different medical condition. Primary headache disorders are clinical diagnoses, meaning theres no blood test or imaging study to diagnose it. A secondary headache is a symptom of another health issue.

What Symptoms Must You Have To Be Diagnosed With A Migraine

Migraine with aura . This is a headache, plus:

  • Visual symptoms or vision loss.
  • Sensory symptoms .

Migraine without aura . A common migraine is a headache and:

  • The attacks included pain on one side of your head.
  • Youve had at least five attacks, each lasting between four and 72 hours.

Plus, youve experienced at least one of the following:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Lights bother you and/or you avoid light.
  • Sounds bother you and/or you avoid sounds.

Also Check: Get Rid Of Migraine While Pregnant

What To Tell Your Doctor About Your Headaches

According to the headache expert Peter Goadsby, MD, PhD, a professor of neurology at the UCLA Goldberg Migraine Program in Los Angeles, a valuable tool in diagnosis is your headache history.

A thorough history, aided by your detailed notes, can pinpoint causes, triggers, and even potential solutions. Make careful notes about your headache experiences before you go to the doctor. Include the following:

  • When the headaches occur
  • What, if anything, makes them feel better or go away
  • Whether sound, light, or noise bother you during headaches
  • Whether there are any changes in your vision before or during headaches, such as blurriness, black spots, or flashes of light
  • How well you slept the night before your headache
  • If you are a woman, when your headaches occur in relation to your menstrual cycle
  • Any unusual weather at the time of your headaches
  • Food or drink that you have consumed in the 24 hours before the headache
  • Activities you were engaging in when the headache began or just prior to it
  • Previous headache diagnoses and treatments youve tried

Dr. Goadsby recommends using a monthly calendar so that the pattern of headache days is clearly visible to you and your doctor.

If you are having severe or disabling headaches, dont wait a full month to call for an appointment make notes about what you recall or are experiencing and see a doctor as soon as you can.

Living With Migraine Headaches

Migraine Remedies #naturalmigrainerelief

You may have fewer migrainesâand less pain when you do get themâby trying to:

  • Find and avoid triggers for your headaches.
  • Keep a headache diary to find out what triggers your migraines.
  • Take medicine as your doctor advises to prevent and stop migraines.
  • Take your medicine right away when you think that you are getting a migraine.
  • Reduce stress with relaxation and positive-thinking methods.
  • Get help from your doctor and a counselor if you think that your migraines may be linked to depression or anxiety. Treating these health problems may reduce how often you get migraines.
  • .

Recommended Reading: Piercing That Helps Prevent Migraines

Can Migraines Be Prevented

Preventive migraine treatments can be helpful for patients with frequent, severe headaches. The main goal for preventive strategies is to reduce the overall frequency and severity of the headaches. Avoiding known triggers may be helpful. Many people find that regular exercise makes them feel better, although strong evidence is lacking to recommend this as a highly effective migraine treatment. Other strategies may include improving sleep habits or learning to cope more effectively with stress, for example by learning relaxation techniques such as biofeedback or meditation.

Numerous medications also can be used as a preventive treatment for migraine. It is often helpful to start with a low dose of medication and increase it slowly in order to find the best balance between benefits and side effects. Some commonly used medications include amitriptyline, propranolol, and topiramate. Valproic acid and lisinopril are less commonly used. For some patients with chronic migraine, botulinum injections can help reduce headaches. Some vitamins, minerals and herbal preparations are also used to help prevent migraines.

When To See A Doctor For Headaches

Almost everyone experiences headaches now and then. However, some headaches are very severe or last for an extended period. Because mild headaches are frequent, many people dont seek treatment until their condition deteriorates.

There is no need to wait! The sooner you get a complete diagnosis and treatment, the better.

If youve rarely had headaches in the past but start to experience them regularly for two weeks or more, seeing a doctor is a good idea. You should also see a doctor if headaches of any severity or duration last for two months or more even if they are not much worse than you are used to.

Finally, get prompt medical attention if you start to experience headaches that are so painful they are debilitating or have symptoms that make it difficult for you to function at work or home. For example, headaches accompanied by eyesight problems should be investigated right away.

Don’t Miss: Ibuprofen Headache Dosage

Is It Time To See A Neurologist For Your Headaches

Your family doctor is a great starting point for headache relief. But for chronic headaches that dont respond to treatment, you may need to enlist the help of a neurologist.

Adobe Stock

The average headache doesnt require a call to a neurologist or even your family doctor. But if you’re experiencing frequent headaches and using medication for them on the regular, thats a different story.

If you have a history of headaches that come once or twice a month and go away when you take an over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, you may not need to seek further treatment, says Sandhya Kumar, MD, a neurologist and headache specialist at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

If youre having headaches more than four times a month, especially if they are debilitating and keeping you home from work, you should see a provider for diagnosis and medication, says Dr. Kumar.

Maxillofacial Surgeon / Oral Surgeon

The Different Medications Used To Treat Migraines

Maxillofacial Surgeons are dentists who trained in performing surgery of the mouth and jaw. The maxillofacial surgeons specialize in treating and reconstructing areas of the face, head, or neck after an injury or surgery.

The surgeries include Dentoalveolar surgery, bone-fused dental implants, cosmetic surgery of head and neck, and the corrective jaw surgery.

How to become an Oral Surgeon?

You May Like: Migraine Seizure Medications

Types Of Migraines And Their Symptoms

You may have one or more . Each type has its own features. For example, some people get migraines with an aura. Some get them without an aura. Some women get menstrual migraines, which happen before, during, or shortly after their menstrual period.

It can be hard to tell the , such as a tension or sinus headache. You may think that you have sinus headaches. But it’s more likely that they are migraine headaches if they happen often and interfere with your daily life.

Migraines can occur along with many other health problems, such as asthma or depression. More serious conditions, such as tumors or infections, can also cause migraine symptoms. But most headaches are not caused by serious health problems.

Three Signs You May Need To See A Neurologist For Your Headaches

Headaches are common but some are much more serious than others. How do you know when yours warrants a trip to a neurologist?

The following signs indicate your headaches may be caused by a neurological issue, says Dr. Greg McLauchlin, assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine.

You take headache medication often

If you get frequent headaches, its tempting to take medication for them regularly. However, McLauchlin says this could be a sign of a more serious condition.

It is important to realize that some over-the-counter medicines can actually make headaches worse if they are taken too frequently, said McLauchlin. Also, over-the-counter medicines can do damage to the stomach, kidneys and liver if taken in excess.

He suggests that anyone who takes over-the-counter medicine to alleviate headaches five or more days out of the month should go see a doctor.

Headaches disrupt daily activities

A visit with your primary care physician is a good place to start for headaches that are not disabling but more of a nuisance. However, immobilizing headaches may warrant a trip to a neurologist.

Patients should see a neurologist for any headache that is disabling, McLauchlin said. This applies to you if you have to stop what you are doing and lie down during a headache.

Additional symptoms

Additional Resources

Don’t Miss: Indomethacin Migraine Treatment

What Are Migraine Headaches

Migraines are painful, throbbing headaches that last from 4 to 72 hours. When you have a migraine, it may be so painful that you are not able to do your usual activities. But even though migraines make you feel bad, they don’t cause long-term damage.

Migraines are a health problem that can be treated. Talk to your doctor about your migraines.

Migraine Management Sometimes Requires A Team

Headaches: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis &  Treatment

One note of caution regarding finding care for migraine is that, sadly, there is a small but significant number of providers who promote treatments for migraine that are based on no real evidence and have the potential to do more harm than good. Some are even willing to exploit migraine patients’ desperation for help for profit.

Patients should be wary of practitioners who tout expensive “miracle cures” for migraine without hard evidence to support these therapies. Based on currently available evidence, there is no cure for migraine. However, now, more than ever before, we have many, well-tolerated, effective treatment options to manage the neurologic disease of migraine.

Also Check: A Patient Who Has Been Experiencing Frequent Severe Migraine


Popular Articles