Here’s When a Headache is Serious

Nearly everyone experiences a headache at some point. Dehydration, lack of sleep, bright lights, stress, consuming excess alcohol, and wearing certain hairstyles are all common headache triggers. Many of these are easily remedied. If you’re dehydrated, you can drink more fluids. If a tight ponytail is causing your headache, you can try a more relaxed hairstyle.

But at what point does a headache become serious? If your headaches are no longer “occasional” but become more regular, it’s time to seek medical intervention. Chronic is defined as 15+ headache days per month, and thankfully, our team is prepared to help you find relief.

Below, Steven Levingston, DC and Faith Brown, DC discuss this topic in more depth.

When do Headaches Become Serious?

Headaches can be serious if they are chronic. Not only are headaches uncomfortable, but they can quickly affect your quality of life. Headaches can make it hard to focus on work, hard to enjoy social time, and they can quickly zap your energy. If your headaches wake up from sleep, it can reduce your quality of sleep, and that, too, can affect your overall physical and mental health.

Chronic headaches can be connected to untreated underlying conditions, such as:

  • Whiplash
  • Issues with your neck, such as cervical facet syndrome
  • Side effects of medication
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Allergies
  • Sinus issues

These issues are serious because they won’t disappear on their own. That means the only way to find lasting headache relief is to target the underlying issue.

How Chiropractic Care Helps Alleviate Your Headaches

Because there are many types of headaches 一 e.g., tension headaches, migraines, sinus headaches, etc. 一 our team here at Premier Chiropractic first conducts a thorough evaluation and physical exam to better understand the location and intensity of your headache.

Once we have a better understanding of the type and severity of your headaches, we may recommend nutritional counseling (some foods can trigger headaches), chiropractic care to address musculoskeletal skeletal issues that contribute to headaches, and physical therapy. If you have whiplash, muscle tension, or spinal misalignment that’s contributing to your headaches, you may benefit from many different chiropractic modalities, including spinal adjustments.

Dr. Levingston and Dr. Brown also curate individualized lifestyle management tips to help you avoid future headaches, based on your specific triggers. This includes getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and other tips like warming up before exercise to help avoid exertion headaches.

When Headaches Require Emergency Care

There are some cases in which headaches are actually emergency conditions. Your headache pain may warrant emergency medical care if it’s:

  • A sudden and intense headache pain (known as a thunderclap headache)
  • Accompanied by a stiff neck
  • The “worst headache of your life”
  • Accompanied by disorientation or balance issues
  • Accompanied by slurred speech and/or loss of hearing

These can be potential signs of serious conditions such as a brain aneurysm, hypertensive crisis, or a stroke. If you notice these symptoms in yourself or in a loved one, call 911 immediately.

Don’t suffer from chronic headaches in silence. Book your headache consultation today in our Pearland, Texas, office. You can reach us at 979-366-3660 or through our online system.