Dr. Rodolfo Gari Talks Chronic Headaches: Its Causes and Treatments

In Pain Management

Interviewer: We’ve all had headaches that come and go, but then there are those who deal with chronic headaches that just won’t go away. Dr Rudy Gari from the Florida Pain Relief Group joins us now to help us get rid of them. And Dr. Gari, this is perfect timing, because I’ve had a headache for the past four days. So what’s the difference between a regular headache and a chronic headache?

Dr. Gari: Well the key term, Cindy, is called chronic. So chronic means anything that lasts longer than what it should.

Interviewer: What should it last, a couple of hours?

Dr. Gari: Maybe an hour or two. Anything more than that, if you get them frequent… You can have irregular chronic headaches, you can have regular chronic headaches there’s all kinds of different nomenclature for headaches and it has to do with the type of headaches that you get and also the duration and the treatment for it.

Interviewer: Well, let’s talk about what can cause these chronic headaches because I need to know.

Dr. Gari: Chronic headaches can be caused by different factors. The underlying factor is the fact that when you get headaches, it’s essentially some sort of irritation in your brain and that’s usually vascular, it’s usually something that…your blood vessel either dilates or constricts. And that causes sort of an inflammatory process in those vessels and those nerves are associated around those blood vessels that gives you that pulsating type of headache [inaudible 00:01:17] that pulsating that you’re feeling is actually the pulse of your vessels. That can be aggravated by tension, stress.

Interviewer: Check, check.

Dr. Gari: Sometimes people are just predisposed to that, you know, just anything, sometimes with lights. Any activity you know can cause headaches to come on, stay there, and stay a lot longer. Sinus infections. I mean, all kinds of things can cause and make those headache worse.

Interviewer: Right. Are there some people that are more prone to these chronic headaches? Is there some underlying factor going on?

Dr. Gari: There is usually some sort of…there are certain types of headaches that are predisposed, they’re inherited, because we know that genes and your genetic make up can predispose you to certain type of headaches. So you know, a family history of chronic headaches usually leads to someone else also having a chronic headache.

Interviewer: If you’d have chronic headaches you know that popping pills is not going to give you much relief because it’s just going to come back the next day. So what can you do to help somebody who is through this?

Dr. Gari: Well one of things that people maybe don’t know about and I see on a regular basis is something that’s called hyperalgesic headaches. And what that is, you can actually get headaches from taking too many pain pills. So it has what’s called a paradoxical effect, meaning the opposite effect. So sometimes I have patients and they’ll come in, and they’re taking like massive quantities of morphine and other very highly potent medications and they have chronic headaches. And what I tell them is we’re going to have to place in what I call a drug holiday. Meaning that we’re gonna switch you over to a different type of medication and let your body reset itself. Your headaches actually get better by reducing the amount of medication that you’ve taken.

Interviewer: And if somebody’s got tension headache, can you help them with that?

Dr. Gari: Tension headaches we can definitely help them, and you have to work at all the cause of the tension, usually maybe there’s a lot of anxiety. So you know, so we tell them to have a good healthy lifestyle. Sometimes the patients are depressed, sometimes they need something for anxiety and then inflammation or just the pain itself.

Interviewer: Right, so you get to the source of the matter and fix it from there?

Dr. Gari: Absolutely.

Interviewer: Good stuff. Dr Gari, thank you very much. You can visit their website, it is floridapainreliefgroup.com and schedule your same day appointment. Get relief right now or give them a call at 844-KICK-PAIN. Dr.Gari, thank you again.

Dr. Gari: Pleasure.

Interviewer: We’ll be right back.



Holly Self is a Graphic Design Specialist for Physician Partners of America. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., Physician Partners of America (PPOA) is a fast-growing national healthcare company committed to combatting the opioid crisis through interventional pain management. Founded in 2013 with three employees, it has rapidly grown to more than 500, and manages a wide range of medical practices.

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