Answers to Common Headache Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about headaches.

How can patients manage their headaches and migraines?

Dr. Richard Kim discusses how patients can manage their headaches or migraines. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

How can patients manage their headaches and migraines?

Some tips to manage your migraines. One would be to keep a headache diary or calendar. You want to know how often you are getting headaches, how long they last and how severe they are. You can also note any potential triggers or associations between certain foods, stress, weather and your headaches. And if it's a trigger that's avoidable, avoid it.

Other tips to manage your headaches. Treat the headaches early on. The longer you wait into a headache or migraine attack, the harder it can be to treat, and the medications may be less effective. Discuss with your doctor and come up with a treatment plan for both medications you take when you do get a headache, and then if needed, medications to prevent the headaches from starting. Also, it's a good idea to have medications for a mild to moderate migraine vs. a severe migraine, and then a medication as a rescue medication if those first and second line medications aren't working.

Other things you can do when you get a headache, if you have light and sound sensitivity, is to go into a dark and quiet room, lay down, try to take a nap and get some rest. Some people find relief using ice packs on their temples, the forehead, back of the head or on the neck. Alternatively, some people find taking a cold shower gives them some relief.

   

To manage your migraines, I recommend keeping a headache diary or calendar. You want to know how often you are getting headaches, how long they last and how severe they are. You can also note any potential triggers or associations between certain foods, stress, weather and your headaches. If there is a trigger that's avoidable, avoid it.

To manage tension, cluster and migraine headaches, treat the headaches early on. The longer you wait, the harder the headache can be to treat – and medicines may be less effective. Talk with your doctor and come up with a treatment plan for medicines you take when you do get a headache and – if needed – medications to prevent the headaches from starting.

It's also a good idea to have medicines for mild to moderate migraines as well as medicine for a severe migraine, plus a rescue medicine, if those first and second line prescriptions aren't working.

If you have light and sound sensitivity, go into a dark and quiet room, lie down, try to take a nap and get some rest. Some people find relief using ice packs on their temples, the forehead, back of the head or on the neck. Other people find that taking a cold shower can also provide some relief.

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Source: Richard Kim, MD, The Clinical Neuroscience Institute; Aaron Block, MD, Franklin Family Practice

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