Have you ever experienced headaches that last for days? Sometimes, it gets so bad that you can’t even get up from your bed.
But as fast as it appears, it suddenly goes away. And when you think it’s gone for good, it comes back again. It can even persist for months.
When you get these kinds of headaches at least 15 days a month for three months or longer, it’s already considered chronic. Unfortunately, pain killers can only provide temporary relief for it.
But is a functional medicine doctor worth the money so you can be free from this kind of pain? Or is surgery really necessary? What other treatment options do you have?
Before you delve into the treatments for chronic headaches, first learn why it happens.
Causes of Chronic Headaches
No exact cause for chronic headaches has been identified by doctors. But it can be due to the following:
- Tightening of head and neck muscles
- Trigeminal nerve stimulation
- Hormonal changes
- Weather changes
- Intake of caffeine
- Lack of sleep
Treatments for Chronic Headaches
Finding the cause of your chronic headache is an essential step in treating it. However, if the cause cannot be exactly determined, managing the symptoms is the next best thing you can do.
Here are some treatments options you can choose from for the relief of persistent headaches:
Antidepressants help prevent headaches. These are usually prescribed when headaches come with anxiety and depression.
Other drugs used to treat chronic headaches are beta-blockers, such as propranolol and metoprolol, which are known medications for lowering blood pressure.
However, if you don’t want to take daily medications, Botox injections can help stop your headaches.
- Behavioural Therapy
Behavioural therapy focuses on knowing the factors that bring or worsen your headaches. When you are aware of these causes, you can make lifestyle changes that can break the cycle of daily pain. This treatment option includes relaxation, biofeedback and cognitive-behavioural therapy.
In acupuncture, very thin needles are inserted into pressure points in your body. It is an alternative treatment that works by stimulating nerves, thereby producing endorphins. These are hormones known to relieve headaches.
- Functional Medicine
This holistic approach to medicine aims to relieve chronic problems, which include headaches, by looking for the root cause of the health condition. With this treatment, you will be thoroughly assessed as a whole. Every issue in your body will be connected. So your health practitioner can develop an individualised care plan that will relieve your chronic headache completely.
Occipital nerve stimulation is one surgical method that doctors use to relieve chronic pain in the head. They will place a small device at the base of your skull. This device sends electrical signals to your occipital nerve, which causes pain relief.
Experiencing chronic headaches is something that can be quite frustrating, especially when it interferes with your daily activities. This is why a treatment option that deals with the root cause of the problem and not just the symptoms is the best solution. Such options include functional medicine and surgery.
However, is a functional medicine doctor worth the money since this is usually not covered by insurance? Or is an invasive procedure more long-lasting?
Choosing the right treatment will always be up to you. If you want to get rid of your headaches completely without undergoing an invasive procedure, functional medicine is your best choice.
But there are always other treatment options you can consider. The most important thing is you get the relief you need to make your life more comfortable and productive.