What is the right treatment for my headache ? MercyOne

Headaches are an aspect of daily life for many people. However, pain shouldn’t get into the way of your daily life. It’s not easy to figure out what your alternatives are to treat. Sarah Ling, DO MPH at MercyOne Waukee Family Medicine explains the most commonly encountered headaches and the ways you can manage these types of headaches.

Tension headaches

Tension headaches are the most prevalent kind of headaches. It is most commonly experienced on both sides of the head simultaneously and is moderate to light in intensity, and easily treated. Stress, physical and mental tension are the main causes of this kind of headache.

It is suggested to take preventive measures when the tension headaches are more frequent than 10 instances per month. This is a combination of manual treatments such as osteopathic manual therapy and massage, acupuncture as well as medications like TCAs and SSRIs. The treatment is a short-term one, which includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) as well as manual therapy to prevent.

The cluster headaches

Cluster headaches are usually very distinct. They typically are more prevalent in males than females and are connected with genetics, tobacco use, as well as injury to the head. The signs may include an attack to one of your head’s sides, a “stabbing” pain in the eye, either above the eye, or near the temple. Sometimes, you might suffer from the drainage of your eyes, red eyes and a runny nose in the exact same area of your head that you experience headache.

An acute treatment may include oxygen or the Triptan prescription. Patients who suffer from regular, though not sudden attacks might benefit from the medication Verapamil. Patients with less frequentand painful attacks might get a quick dose of steroids.


Anyone who has the “really severe headache” may believe it’s migraine, but here’s the information you should be aware of about migraines. The headaches are most common in people between the ages of 30-40 years old and usually occur on the opposite facet of your head. “Typically the headaches can be described as pulse or throb as if the beat of a drum” the doctor. Ling said.

Sometimes, migraines will also occur with nausea, vomiting , and sensitization in the presence of the light (photophobia) or the sound (phonophobia). Migraines can be provoked by weather changes, stress or sleep disruptions. They can also trigger menstrual cycle, among other.

“If you’re suffering from a migraineor headaches, the treatment will be recommended when it is administered at the earliest stage of signs,” Dr. Ling explained.

Treatment may include NSAIDs or triptans. Anti-nausea medications may be necessary, or steroids in the event that the headache is serious enough. A general preventive measure is exercise, cognitive-behavioral therapy counseling and electric nerve stimulation. Calcitonin gene-related protein (CGRP) antagonists are readily available to help prevent headaches in the event that they happen frequently, more than fifteen times every month.