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Chronic Headaches: Possible Causes And Treatments

Chronic Headaches Possible Causes And Treatments

What is a Headache?

Headaches are one of the most frequent complaints. Narrowly defined, a headache is a pain in the head or face, and sometimes also includes pain in the upper neck. Anyone can have a headache, including children, adolescents, and adults. However, it is another matter entirely if you have frequent headaches. This condition – referred to as chronic headache – is much more severe and can be disruptive to your work and personal life. 

Unfortunately, many Singaporeans often do not seek help from a headache specialist in Singapore. Instead, they opt to rely on over-the-counter medications to help relieve the pain, which may not be entirely helpful. However, no one should have to suffer from chronic headaches in silence, especially when the condition is treatable. 

So how can you tell if your headache symptoms are a sign of a more serious condition? This question is what we aim to clarify. Let us share more about chronic headaches, their triggers and causes, and available treatment options so that you can have a clear understanding of whether you should seek medical help from our migraine specialists

Symptoms and causes of chronic headaches

Chronic Headaches Treatment: Your Guide | Orchard Health Clinic

A common question that our headache specialists receive is: how do I know if my headaches are a chronic condition? To answer this question, you should pay attention to the number of headache episodes you experience.

By definition, chronic daily headaches happen at least 15 days a month and last for a period longer than 3 months. If your headache episodes match this description, you may have chronic headaches. The most common examples of chronic headaches are chronic migraine, chronic tension-type headaches, and hemicrania continua.

Symptoms of chronic migraine include:

  • Moderate to severe pain affecting one or both sides of your head
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • You experience a pulsating, throbbing sensation in your head
  • You feel nauseous

Symptoms of chronic tension-type headaches include:

  • Mild to moderate pain affecting both sides of your head
  • You experience pain that feels pressing or tightening

Symptoms of hemicrania continua include:

  • Drooping eyelid or pupil narrowing
  • Moderate pain with spikes of severe pain affecting only one side of your head
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Tearing or redness of the eye on the affected side
  • You experience pain daily and continuously, with no pain-free periods

Now that you have a clearer idea of the symptoms of these chronic headaches, you might be wondering what causes episodic headaches to become more frequent and develop into chronic headaches.

Unfortunately, there are various factors that can trigger a headache. Some factors are beyond our control, while others can be managed and easily avoided. Common headache triggers include

  • Dehydration
  • Diet
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Excessive caffeine intake
  • Eye strain from too much screen time
  • Poor posture
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Stress

How our headache specialists can help you?

There are various ways to treat chronic headaches. At Orchard Health Clinic, our therapists take a holistic approach to treating our patients. Our headache specialists will first assess your condition to determine the cause of your chronic headache before recommending suitable treatments to manage your condition. 

1. Manual therapy

If you are experiencing chronic migraines, our therapists may recommend suitable manual therapy techniques to temporarily relieve your pain during a migraine attack. We can perform neuromuscular therapy to induce deep muscle relaxation and trigger the release of endorphins to act as natural painkillers. 

Our migraine specialists may also demonstrate and provide you with specific exercises to do at home. Similar to our neuromuscular therapy sessions, the aim is to trigger the release of endorphins within your body to act as natural pain relievers. 

2. Dry needling

Muscle tension in various trigger points within your body can contribute to chronic headaches. In these circumstances, our therapists may recommend dry needling therapy. This involves the insertion of thin and fine (filiform) stainless steel needles into tight muscle points (trigger points) to decrease tension in your muscles, thereby relieving the pain caused by your headache.

Learn More: Dry Needling Therapy: What You Should Know

3. Trigger management

As we have shared earlier, your lifestyle choices can play a role in your chronic headaches. Poor posture and an improper diet regimen may trigger your headache episodes. Our headache specialists can take a detailed look at your lifestyle and recommend changes to your diet to promote headache relief. We can also provide tips to help you correct poor posture, as it can cause tension in your neck, shoulders, and upper back, leading to a headache.

Get your chronic headaches treated today!

An occasional headache may not be too much of a concern. However, if the condition worsens and becomes more frequent, thereby affecting your quality of life, please consult our headache specialists immediately. Contact us to schedule an appointment with our healthcare professionals today!

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