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Headaches Specialist

Pinnacle Pain and Spine

Interventional Pain Medicine Physician & Interventional Pain and Sports Medicine Physician located in Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, & Chandler, AZ

A headache can make it hard to concentrate at best, and may leave you wiped out and unable to function at worst. If headaches have an adverse effect on your life, Matthew Crooks, MD, Jessica Byrd, FNP-C, AP-PMN, and Emma Dambi, FNP-C, at Pinnacle Pain and Spine can help. At the locations in Scottsdale, Chandler, and Fountain Hills, Arizona, they deliver therapies that can relieve your headaches and enable you to live a more normal life. Call the office nearest you to find out more or book an appointment online today.

Headaches Q&A

What are headaches?

Headaches describe a range of conditions that cause pain in your upper neck or head. There aren't any pain nerves in your brain, so headache pain comes from the tissues and structures surrounding it.

When the tissues around your brain become inflamed, it can result in the pain of a headache. The sensation may be:

  • Sharp
  • Achy
  • Throbbing
  • Mild
  • Intense

There are numerous types of headaches, some of which can be severe and disabling.

What types of headaches are there?

Your headache may be primary, secondary, or neuralgic.

Primary headaches

These are headaches that occur as a condition in themselves without being a symptom of another disorder. Examples include stress headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches.

Secondary headaches

Secondary headaches are a symptom of another condition, such as a cold, flu, ear infection, glaucoma, or meningitis.

Cranial neuralgia

Neuralgia is pain from a faulty or damaged nerve. The main nerves that cause head pain are the occipital nerve in the back of your head and the trigeminal nerve in your face.

Dehydration and stress are both common causes of headaches. While tumors can cause severe pain, they're a more unlikely reason for you to experience headaches.

How is my headache diagnosed?

To diagnose the type of headache you're experiencing, Dr. Crooks takes a history of your symptoms. He performs a physical and neurological exam to look for signs of any condition that may be causing your headaches.

The more details you can provide about the characteristics of your headache, the better, so note:

  • When your headaches occur
  • How often they occur
  • Symptoms that accompany your headaches

Identifying any triggers for your headaches can also be very useful.

What are headache triggers?

Very often, there's no definable cause for headaches. However, if you note everything you were doing, eating, feeling, or any other possible influences on your condition, you might spot some common themes.

For example, people who suffer from migraines sometimes find that their attacks occur after they've been drinking red wine, eating preserved meats, or at times of severe stress.

If you can identify your triggers, you might be able to avoid them and reduce the frequency of your headaches.

What treatments are there for headaches?

Medications are often the primary treatment for headaches. In some cases, over-the-counter painkillers are sufficient. 

However, you might need prescription medications for migraines that help to reduce the severity of your headaches and prevent attacks.

Relaxation techniques and hot or cold compresses can also be helpful for treating headaches.

If headaches affect your quality of life, call Pinnacle Pain and Spine or book an appointment online today.