Headache Specialist

CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center

Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Pain Management located in Lanham, Hyattsville, Gaithersburg, Dundalk & Pikesville, MD

More than 45 million people suffer from chronic, recurrent headaches every year. For all types of headaches and migraines, see the specialists at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center for a thorough exam and treatment. With locations in Lanham, Hyattsville, Gaithersburg, Dundalk and Pikesville, Maryland, you can get relief close to your home or office if you’re in Maryland or the Washington, D.C. area. Call CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center or schedule an appointment online today to learn more.

Headache Q & A

Are there different types of headaches?

Yes, headaches are classified into five different categories, based on the location and cause of your pain. These categories include:

Primary headaches

Types of primary headaches include tension headaches, cluster headaches, and migraines. These are all considered primary headaches because there’s no other underlying medical condition or cause of your pain.

Secondary headaches

Secondary headaches are the result of an injury, illness, or other medical condition. Secondary headaches may be a symptom or side effect of cerebrovascular disease, head trauma, infection, a tumor, or metabolic disease.

Cranial neuralgias

Cranial neuralgias affect nerves in your face and can cause severe, electrical-like sensations and pain in your face and head.

Facial pain

Facial pain may be attributed to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, sinus issues, or other conditions that affect nerves and blood supply in the face.

Other headaches

This includes a variety of headaches and pain patterns that can’t be classified among the other categories.

To determine what type of headache you have, the team completes a thorough evaluation, physical exam, and diagnostic testing.

How are headaches diagnosed?

To diagnose the cause of your headache, the team must understand the location of your headache and any pain patterns or potential headache triggers that you experience. During your consultation, the team performs the following as part of your exam:

  • Observation
  • Physical exam
  • Blood tests, including thyroid, liver, and kidney function
  • Eye exam
  • Discussion of family and medical history, including any medications you’re taking
  • Neurological exam
  • Sleep habits assessment

Based on their findings, the team identifies the cause of your headache and diagnoses your condition. They also recommend an appropriate treatment program to reduce or eliminate your headaches, focusing on both their frequency and severity.

What are the warning signs of a serious headache?

While occasional headaches are common and fairly normal when your daily habits fluctuate — including eating, sleeping, and drinking water, caffeine, or alcohol — some headache symptoms are warning signs of a more serious condition.

Potential warning signs include:

  • Sudden, severe headache
  • New, severe headache on both sides of your head
  • Headache along with fever, rash, stiff neck, mental confusion, double vision, weakness, numbness, or difficulty speaking
  • Headache following a recent respiratory infection or sore throat
  • Headache following a head injury
  • Chronic headache that worsens when coughing, straining, or moving suddenly
  • New headache if you’re older than 55

If you experience any of these signs, immediate medical attention from the team at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center is necessary to avoid complications. Schedule an appointment online or by phone today.