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Headache: Early Intervention for Recurring Headache And Ongoing Management

Headaches can range from relatively minor issues to more serious health problems, so it is important to seek help right away. Whether you have periodic, mild discomfort or frequent, intense pain, our University Hospitals multidisciplinary team of headache specialists collaborate to diagnose, treat and assist with ongoing care – from medication management to complex interventions. The sooner you start the appropriate headache treatment, the sooner you can return to your normal activities and regain quality of life.

Types of Headaches And Location They Appear

Our experienced neurology team works together to treat several types of primary headaches, including:

  • Migraines: A primary, recurring headache that typically only affects half of the head.
  • Cluster headaches: Severe recurring grouped headaches that often center around one eye.
  • Tension headaches: Headaches caused by tightness of muscles in the head or neck.

While most of our patients suffer from primary headaches, or one caused by the headache itself and not an outside condition or issue, there are some instances where a headache is a symptom of a more serious condition. In these cases, our neurology team works with other UH specialists to get to the cause of the headaches and provide comprehensive treatment.

A Collaborative Treatment Experience with a Headache Specialists

First, we perform a detailed exam that includes interviewing our patients on their health history to better understand what could be causing your discomfort.

There are 500 different medical causes for headaches, but some of the more common include:

  • Hypertension, or high blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Sinus issues
  • Gluten, or wheat protein, intolerance

Headaches can also occur during different life stages, such as teenage growth spurts, peri-menopause and pregnancy. Our team will also consider lifestyle factors, such as sleep patterns, stress and anxiety. By having an in-depth discussion, we can start to uncover the causes of your headache pain. In certain situations, we also may need to conduct a few tests, such as a brain MRI to get a complete picture of your condition.

Our expert neurology team develops a customized headache treatment plan based on the latest drug therapies, clinical trials and other research innovations. Our neurologists also work with a wide range of specialists including dieticians and physical therapists who are specially trained in headache therapy and management.

For other treatment options, we partner with our UH Connor Whole Health to offer non-traditional therapies, such as mindfulness, stress management, biomechanics and acupuncture. If you need to receive treatment infusions, services are available at the UH Specialty Clinic Infusion Center in Warrensville Heights, as well as at UH Seidman Cancer Center infusion locations across the region.

This collaborative process allows us to provide a personalized and targeted treatment plan for every patient. We effectively manage your headaches and educate patients to recognize early warning signs, when to see a doctor for headaches, and understand follow care plans and engage in ongoing monitoring.

Partnering with Patients for Headache Therapy Solutions for Long-term Health

After headaches are under control, we continue to support patients to ensure their condition remains stable over time. You may choose to have your primary care physician monitor your care, but we will work closely through a partnership to provide any specialized treatments or interventions.

It’s important to regularly monitor the timing and intensity of headaches, such as through a journal or by using an app on your phone. If you start to notice changes in the type, frequency or intensity of your headaches, please let our specialists know. We want to check for any changes and be sure your current therapy is still working.