Specific treatment for headaches will be determined by your physician based on:
- your age, overall health, and medical history
- type of headaches
- severity and frequency of the headaches
- your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- your opinion or preference
The ultimate goal of headache treatment is to stop headaches from occurring. Adequate headache treatment and management depends on the accurate identification of the type of headache and may include:
- avoiding known triggers, such as certain foods and beverages, lack of sleep, and fasting
- changing your eating habits
- resting in a quiet, dark environment
- medications, as recommended by your physician
- stress management
Migraine headaches may require specific medication management and treatment including:
- abortive medications - medications, prescribed by your physician, that act on specific receptors in blood vessels in the head and can stop a headache in progress.
- rescue medications - medications purchased over-the-counter, such as analgesics (pain relievers), to stop the headache.
- preventive medications - medications, prescribed by your physician, that are taken daily to reduce the onset of severe migraine headaches.
Some headaches may require immediate medical attention including hospitalization for observation, diagnostic testing, or even surgery. Treatment of headache is individualized depending on the underlying condition causing the headache. Full recovery depends on the type of headache and other medical problems that may be present.