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How We Treat Your Headaches

If you experience chronic headaches, you know that they can be debilitating and disruptive. But did you know that different types of headaches have their own causes and need their own specific treatments? That’s why the first step to headache relief is a comprehensive assessment and thoughtful diagnosis. 

Dr. Halina Snowball at Integrated Pain Solutions in Stamford, Connecticut, is dedicated to getting to the root of your pain problems. When it comes to headaches, we focus on using a whole-body, holistic approach to understanding what triggers your headaches and how to best resolve them. Here are three of the most common headaches and how we treat them. 

Tension headaches

Tension headaches, also known as stress headaches, are the most common, accounting for about 90% of all headaches. They’re characterized by a squeezing pain that usually appears around your temples, behind your eyes, or on both sides of your head. Some people describe a tightness around their heads.

Generally, tension headaches are caused by issues like poor posture and muscle tension, both of which can stem from stress and lifestyle. Many people with tension headaches find their symptoms get worse with poor sleep, eye strain, and when eating certain foods. 

Treating tension headaches

When it comes to tension headaches, we first recommend implementing healthy lifestyle changes before using techniques such as relaxation and biofeedback to prevent your headaches before they start. 

Relaxation techniques help reduce your stress through easy exercises. Biofeedback training uses electrodes to measure electrical signals in your neck and shoulders so that you can learn to be aware of increasing tension in those areas and relax them before a headache develops. 

For some, these techniques are enough to keep headaches at bay. But some tension headaches are caused by trigger points, which are painful knots of muscle fibers that can cause pain elsewhere in the body.

We offer trigger point injections that can relax your muscular knots and relieve headaches. Muscle relaxants can also lead to reduced headache severity and frequency. 

Migraine headaches

Migraines are common and affect about 12% of all Americans. They’re usually more severe than tension headaches and are characterized by throbbing pain that affects one side of your head. 

They also can include a wide range of symptoms outside of head pain, including nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Many people also experience auras, which are warning signs before a migraine that involve visual disturbances, confusion, and prickling sensations. 

Treating migraine headaches

We offer migraine therapy as well as Botox® injections for migraine sufferers. 

Migraine therapy is a holistic approach to managing your migraines that includes lifestyle changes, meditation and breathing exercises, and nutrition counseling so that you can identify your migraine triggers and keep them at bay. 

For those who experience more than 15 migraines each month, FDA-approved Botox injections can prevent migraines and reduce their severity if they do occur. These injections block the neurotransmitters that carry pain signals during your migraine. 

We also offer medications like glucocorticoids, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitors, and beta-blockers to help prevent and manage migraines. 

Cluster headaches

Fewer than 1% of people experience cluster headaches, but for those who do the pain is considered to be among the worst headache pain imaginable. Cluster headaches usually involve excruciating pain behind or around one eye, and can often cause watery red eyes and a stuffy nose on the affected side. 

Cluster headaches usually occur every day, often several times a day. They typically happen during a predictable period like spring or fall. 

Treating cluster headaches

When it comes to treating cluster headaches, there’s no cure but there are ways to prevent them and reduce the severity of pain with medications like calcium channel blockers, anti-seizure medications, and corticosteroids. 

No matter what type of headache you’re struggling with, we can help you find relief. Call our office at 203-293-0549 or request an appointment online to learn more. 

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