MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Headache is pain in any region of the head. Headaches may occur on one or both sides of the head, be isolated to a certain location, radiate across the head from one point, or have a vise-like quality.
A headache may appear as a sharp pain, a throbbing sensation or a dull ache. Headaches can develop gradually or suddenly, and may last from less than an hour to several days.
The most common type of headache is a tension headache. Tension headaches are due to tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. They are often related to stress, depression or anxiety. You are more likely to get tension headaches if you work too much, don’t get enough sleep, miss meals, or use alcohol.
Other common types of headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, and sinus headaches. Not all headaches require a doctor’s attention. But sometimes headaches warn of a more serious disorder. Let your health care provider know if you have sudden, severe headaches.
At the Intermountain Medical Center Neurosciences Institute, they have a multi-disciplinary approach to treating all types of headaches and migraines, whether they’re mild and nagging or debilitating and severe.
Their team of experts includes neurologists, nutritionists, and physical therapists. They collaborate to diagnose and provide effective pain management for all types of headaches. They also treat primary headaches such as migraines that have no obvious cause, as well as those that are caused by serious underlying medical conditions that may require prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Each person experiences their headaches differently, depending on age, gender, stress levels, job demands, pain tolerance, and other medical conditions. The Intermountain Medical Center Neurosciences Institute works with patients to create an individualized treatment plan designed to provide the most effective management of your symptoms with minimal side effects.
Although most headaches are not life threatening, they need to be taken seriously.
“We recognize that headaches may cause substantial discomfort, and may severely affect your ability to perform at work, at school, enjoy family and social events, or even carry on normal daily activities. Our goal is to improve your quality of life by effectively diagnosing and managing your headache pain,” said neurologist Alyssa Lettich, MD.
Alli Hock from Salt Lake City started out with migraines a few times a year that turned into debilitating chronic migraines several times a week. She stopped traveling, activities and going out with friends.
“I was miserable.”
Everyone can get a headache but Dr. Alyssa Lettich, a headache specialist at Intermountain Medical Center Neurosciences Institute
says migraines tend to target young and healthy women in their reproductive years.
“16% of people in the world have migraines. If you start to look at women you’ll find 30% of women between the time they have their period and when they go through menopause. It’s driven by estrogen, it’s a pretty common thing.”
There is no cure for headaches but there are options to treat and prevent them such as pscychotherapy, medication and non prescription options.
Dr. Lettich, “things like cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, non prescription options, magnesium can be excellent for migraine prevention.”
Alli now takes a combination of meds and Botox which has changed her life.
“I don’t think you could put into words. Before, I had given up what my life used to be and wasn’t sure I could get back.”