Conditions and Treatments

Chronic headaches can be debilitating, result in lost school and work time and affect your relationships. Premier Health’s Clinical Neuroscience Institute (CNSI) is a leader in treating headaches, including:

  • Migraines
  • Tension headaches
  • Hormonal headaches
  • Sinus headaches
  • Rebound headaches

Our team of neurologists carefully evaluates your symptoms and develops a treatment plan tailored to your headache pattern. Treatment specific to your needs can significantly improve your quality of life.

What Is a Headache?

Headache symptoms include pain and discomfort in your head or neck.

Tension headaches are the most common type, often caused by tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. These headaches tend to be caused by stress, depression or anxiety. You typically feel tension headaches as a dull pain on both sides of your head. For some people, the pain is like a vise squeezing their heads.

Migraine headaches are more severe with symptoms that can include:

  • Throbbing or pulsating pain, often on one side of your head
  • "Aura" that involves vision changes
  • Pain that worsens when you move around

Migraine headaches may be triggered by foods such as chocolate, certain cheeses and MSG. Caffeine withdrawal, lack of sleep and alcohol use may also trigger migraines.

Other types of headaches include:

  • Rebound headaches related to overuse of painkillers
  • Sinus headaches due to swelling of sinus passages
  • Premenstrual headaches due to hormone fluctuations

Diagnosing Headaches

It’s important to have an accurate diagnosis of your headaches so you can get the most effective treatment. Your neurologist will ask questions about your medical history and the pattern of your headaches. You may be asked to keep a headache diary to track your symptoms and frequency.

Tests to diagnose headaches include:

  • Blood tests
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
  • X-rays

Treatments for Headaches

Tension headaches: Our doctors often recommend:

  • Lifestyle changes such as exercise and yoga to reduce stress
  • Prescription antidepressants, painkillers or muscle relaxants to control pain
  • Biofeedback to learn relaxation techniques
  • Acupuncture to control pain

Migraines: CNSI doctors can prescribe medications to prevent headaches and stop ones that do occur.

Specific foods can trigger migraine headaches, so your diet is important. You may be able to eliminate many headaches by avoiding dietary triggers.

Vitamins, including B-12 and co-enzyme Q-10, can help prevent less frequent, milder migraines.

Premenstrual headaches: A neuroendocrinologist can prescribe hormone therapies to balance the natural drop in estrogen levels that triggers these headaches.

Sinus headaches: Treatment with an anti-inflammatory medication is helpful. Many people also benefit from treatment for allergies.

For more information about headaches at CNSI, and for a referral to a Premier Health neurologist, call toll free 1 (844) 277-28941 (844) 277-2894.