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How to Control Recurrent Headaches?

Dr. Sanjay Sharma 87% (289 ratings)
Fellowship in Interventional Pain management , Diploma in Anesthesia, DA, MBBS
Pain Management Specialist, Jaipur  •  26 years experience
How to Control Recurrent Headaches?

Headaches arise due to various reasons. Stress, tension, migraine, overwork and several medical conditions may cause headaches of different types. Such headaches are also called chronic headaches, and many cases of headaches are recurrent in nature. This indicates that the headaches might reappear or reoccur.

Headaches are quite frustrating and affect your entire health and performance. Recurrent headaches are even more troublesome as they strike back when you almost thought they were gone. There are several ways to deal with or control recurrent headaches. They include the following:

A. Medical treatment: Medicines can be used to treat the underlying cause of a headache and if these fail, medicines to cure the headache are used.

The different preventive medicines for recurrent headaches are:

  1. Antidepressants: Tricyclic antidepressants by the likes of nortriptyline can be prescribed for treating recurrent headaches. These medications help in curing any kind of depression, anxiety and disturbances in sleep, which usually lead to recurrent headaches. Antidepressants like the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI and fluoxetines are also used.
  2. Beta blockers: Beta blockers, commonly used to treat hypertension, also prevent migraine-related headaches. They include atenolol, metoprolol and propranolol.
  3. Anti-seizure medicines: Several anti-seizure medicines help in the prevention of migraine and also cure daily, recurrent headaches. They include topiramate, divalproex sodium and gabapentin.
  4. NSAIDs: Prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen sodium also help in reducing headaches, which appear daily. NSAIDs are used in cases of severe headache.
  5. Botulinum toxin: Onabotulinum toxin A or Botox injections can be used to get relief from recurrent headaches and are ideal for people whose daily medications are not effective enough.

B. Alternative medicine procedures
Other than medications, alternative therapies to get relief from concurrent headaches can be utilized. They include:

  1. Acupuncture: This ancient procedure involves the use of thin needles, which are inserted into certain areas of the skin at defined points. Acupuncture reduces the frequency and intensity of headaches.
  2. Massage therapy: Massage therapy reduces stress, gives relief to pain and provides relaxation. Massaging of the tight muscles at the back of the head provides relief.
  3. Herbs and nutrients: Several organic herbs help in preventing migraine headaches and reduce the intensity of headaches. They include butterbur and feverfew. Vitamin and mineral supplements can be taken to reduce headaches and prevent them from reoccurring. Coenzyme Q10 supplements, magnesium sulfate supplements can reduce the frequency of several headaches as well.
  4. Investigational approach: A surgical implant, which is a battery operated electrode, can be placed around the occipital nerve. The electrode implant sends energy pulses to the nerve, and headache is eased.

Recurrent headaches can be controlled in various ways, which include medicines and several alternative procedures. You should consult a doctor before you start using some method.

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