In most cases, episodic headaches will go away within 48 hours. If you have a headache that lasts more than two days or that increases in intensity, you should see a doctor for assistance.
Our headache specialists have dedicated their careers to understanding and treating all types of headaches, including those that are most common:
Cervicogenic Headaches occur when pain is referred from a specific source in the neck up to the head. Cervicogenic headaches may be caused by trauma, such as fracture, dislocation, or whiplash injury, an underlying medical condition such as arthritis, or by musculoskeletal problems such as neck strain and poor posture.
Cluster Headaches are one of the most painful types of headaches. They are a series of daily headaches that occur for weeks or months at a time. Pain is severe and usually occurs on one side of the head and the area around the eyes. Often mistaken for migraine or allergies, it’s important to get a diagnosis from a headache expert.
Exertional Headaches happen after intense activity. Weight lifting, running, and sexual intercourse are all common triggers for an exertional headache.
Menstrual Headaches occur in menstruating women and can occur before, during or immediately after the period, or during ovulation. Menstrual migraine attacks are primarily caused by estrogen, the female sex hormone that specifically regulates the menstrual cycle fluctuations throughout the cycle. When the levels of estrogen and progesterone change, women will be more vulnerable to headaches.
Medication Overuse Headaches (previously called rebound headache) are caused by regular, long-term use of pain medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers, to treat headaches.
Migraine Headache: A migraine headache attack usually consists of severe, throbbing pain that may last from 4 to 72 hours and often includes nausea, vomiting or extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Learn More
Occipital Neuralgia is a condition where the nerves that run through the scalp are injured or inflamed. This causes headaches that feel like severe piercing, throbbing or shock-like pain in the upper neck, back of the head or behind the ears.
Post-concussion Headache occurs after suffering a concussion.
Post-traumatic Headaches can develop after any type of head injury. These headaches can feel like migraine or tension-type headaches.
Tension-type Headaches are the most common headaches, often caused by stress and muscle tension. Usually includes a dull pain, tightness, or pressure around your forehead or the back of your head and neck. Learn More
Trigeminal Neuralgia is a condition characterized by pain coming from the trigeminal nerve, which starts near the top of the ear and splits into three branches, toward the eye, the cheek and the jaw.
There are many types of headaches and causes and symptoms may vary. Most headaches are rarely a sign of something more serious and most people can manage them effectively with over-the-counter painkillers. However, those who experience severe, persistent, recurrent, worsening or painful headaches should consult a doctor.
The headache specialists in the Inova Headache Program are dedicated to identifying a personalized plan of care that will assess and manage your headaches in order to improve the quality of your life.
A personalized treatment plan to manage your headache pain may include:
- Comprehensive medical evaluation
- Diagnostic testing
- Patient education
- Preventive medication options
- Acute/rescue medication options
- OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox®) injections for chronic migraine
- Occipital nerve block injections