There are more than 100 types of headaches, and they can be harmless to life-threatening. Headache can be classified as primary and secondary headaches.

Primary headaches are responsible for more than 90% of all headache complaints in whichtension-type headache and migraine are the commonest. Secondary headaches are usually caused by an underlying condition like meningitis or a brain tumor. Headaches may also be the cause of problems elsewhere in the head or neck.

The suffering of a Migraine patient is not easy to understand by those who have never experienced it. Having treated a number of patients with migraine and other headaches, neurologists at Vimhans PrimaMed have gained significant expertise in all kinds of Headache treatments.

Every day our patients are seen and checked in the outpatient clinic or indoor department. Patients are commonly treated by consultation or admitted for refractory headaches, as deemed necessary.

Signs & Symptoms of Migraine

The typical headache of migraine commonly begins on one side of head around the eye or forehead. It then gradually grows in severity and spreads to the one-half of the head; sometimes it may involve the entire head. It’s quite severe and accompanied by vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to sound and light.

Headache & Migraine

A typical migraine headache is:

Moderate to severe intensity
Gradually builds in severity
Aversion to light and sound
Pulsating
Associated with nausea or vomiting
Hemicraniaor holocranial

Some of the factors which might trigger migraine:

Anxiety
Poor coping strategy Stress
Lack of food
Certain kinds of food like Chinese, chocolate, cheese wine, etc.
Travel
Lack of sleep or more than usual sleeping
Exposure to sunlight
Hormonal changes (in women)

Treatment for Migraine

Many factors are responsible for the occurrence of migraine and they are known as triggers. The avoidance of these triggers reduces the number of headaches a patient goes through.

Non-pharmacological techniques are helpful for some patients, in order to control migraineattacks. These techniques include relaxation, biofeedback, physical medicine, yoga and counseling. Some other recommendations are:

Good sleep
Regular exercise
Simplify your life and kick away the stress
Maintain healthy eating habits

Medical Treatments

In case of mild headache, nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) drugs such as Aspirin, Paracetamol, ibuprofen, diclofenac, and naproxen are effective.

For severe attacks specific medicines such as ergotamine, dihydroergotamine or triptans like sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, and naratriptan can be used.

For recurrent headaches, migraine prophylaxis with drugs like propranolol, antitryptilline, sodium valproate, etc.

Headache

There are some unusual primary headaches which are not migraine & have a different management. Their recognition is essential to give maximum relief to the patient. It includes trigeminal neuralgia, cluster headache, indomethacin responsive cephalalgia, etc. Since all headaches are not migraine, a headache cannot be called migraine if it doesn’t fulfill the above mentioned criteria of migraine. Other serious headaches may be caused by:

Brain tumor
Temporal arteritis
Rise or Low in intracranial pressure
Thrombosis of cerebral veins
Meningitis, encephalitis
Dissection of vessels
Stroke
Brain hemorrhage

Treatment

If you experience headaches on a regular basis, it’s advised to keep a diary for documenting when your headache starts, and other relevant things. There could be a number of treatment options available for curing different types of headaches. For instance, head massage may assist you to relieve headache symptoms. Making some lifestyle changes, plenty of exercises, stretching the neck and back muscles may make you feel better.

Acupuncture is another option that has been found to be effective in chronic headaches of both tension type & migraine type. Psychological treatments are basically considered in those patients who are unresponsive to the medication.

Our centre has the team to recognise & manage them with appropriate drugs. For resistant cases, specialised therapy like

Gamma knife is available for trigeminal neuralgia
Botox therapy for migraine.

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