When confronted with a headache the first thought is to grab the nearest over-the-counter pain medication and wait for the pain to subside.
When that doesn’t work, you are faced with the question of what to do next.
Jonette Gozzola NP, a Dallas headache specialist, offers these Do’s and Don’ts for how to respond when a headache comes, and what next steps should be taken.
- Seek competent medical evaluation. Migraines cause missed work, family activities and even cause problems in relationships
- Recognize “triggers” that cause your migraines. Again, a trained clinician can help. Common triggers-stress, certain foods, sleep disturbance, weather changes
- Keep a headache diary. Record level of intensity and frequency of all headaches.
- Seek immediate emergency help for “’the worst headache I have ever had”
- Overuse rescue medications. You need to be in control of headaches not be being controlled by headaches
- Delay seeking a headache professional for guidance and appropriate medication
- Seek more and stronger “pain” medication. It may be poison for the person with a migraine
- Ignore signs of a growing problem-mood disruption, decreased cognitive function, muscle tension, excessive yawning, increasing frequency, and intensity
A migraine is a condition of the nervous system that can be serious and debilitating. It is not “just a headache”. Help is available for you to control this condition and take back your life. You are a valuable person who people love and appreciate! Let us help you get back to being you!