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March 26, 2016
Table of Contents

1 Introduction
Headache Treatment

Wikipeida

 

Acute headaches

Not all headaches require medical attention, and most respond with simple analgesia (painkillers) such as paracetamol/acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, or diclofenac.

Chronic headaches

In recurrent unexplained headaches keeping a "headache diary" with entries on type of headache, associated symptoms, precipitating and aggravating factors may be helpful. This may reveal specific patterns, such as an association with medication, menstruation or absenteeism or with certain foods. It was reported in March 2007 by two separate teams of researchers that stimulating the brain with implanted electrodes appears to help ease the pain of cluster headaches.

Acupuncture has been found to be beneficial in chronic headaches of both tension type and migraine type. Whether or not there is a difference between true acupuncture and sham acupuncture however is yet to be determined.

One type of treatment, however, is usually not sufficient for chronic sufferers and they may have to find a variety of different ways of managing, living with, and seeking treatment of chronic daily headache pains.

There are however two types of treatment for chronic headaches meaning acute abortive treatment and preventive treatment. Whereas the first is aimed to relieve the symptoms immediately, the latter is focused on controlling the headaches that are chronic. From this reason, the acute treatment is commonly and effectively used in treating migraines and the preventive treatment is the usual approach in managing chronic headaches. The primary goal of preventive treatment is to reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of headaches. This type of treatment involves taking medication on a daily basis for at least 3 months and in some cases, for over 6 months. The medication used in preventive treatment is normally chosen based on the other conditions that the patient is suffering from. Generally, medication in preventive treatment starts at the minimum dosage which increases gradually until the pain is relieved and the goal achieved or until side effects appear.

To date, only amitriptyline, fluoxetine, gabapentin, tizanidine, topiramate, and botulinum toxin type A (BoNTA) have been evaluated as "prophylactic treatment of chronic daily headache in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled or active comparator-controlled trials. Antiepileptics can be used as preventative treatment of chronic daily headache and includes Valproate.

Psychological treatments are usually considered in comorbid patients or in those who are unresponsive to the medication.



Last Modified:   2010-11-10


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