Constant headaches call for medical evaluation
Headache is the most common symptom in medical practice, has a significant impact on people's lives, and is a frequent cause of absenteeism (absence of the employee in the work) leading to untold financial losses to civil society.
Worse than an isolated episode of headache are individuals with chronic headaches, constant headaches with a frequency of 15 episodes or more per month for more than three months. And how to diagnose and treat constant headaches? First, we must understand that chronic headaches are divided into groups, with chronic migraine and chronic tension-type headache being the main representatives. Thus, it is important to know basic characteristics of the headache, such as:
- Character (chronic, acute)
- Associated symptoms
- Among others. To facilitate the diagnosis of constant headaches, patients can record basic information about their pain and take it to the doctor's office, for example answering the above questions.
- Second, often patients with constant headaches make excessive use of analgesics, which leads to a vicious cycle of pain, making the case worse.
Finally, the more attentive physician will readily realize that most individuals with chronic headache have associated psychiatric comorbidities, eg, anxious disorders and mood disorders ( depression). Sleep disorders are also common in these situations.
Thus, constant headaches are a challenge and, unfortunately, a reality in modern life. Knowing the diagnosis, investigating complementary tests, interrupting the excessive use of analgesics, and recognizing associated psychiatric comorbidities are fundamental elements. After this, the most critical step for symptom relief and resolution of pain occurs: the choice of preventive treatment, medications chosen by an experienced physician from a portfolio of possible options.
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