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8 Things Neurologists Do When They Have A Headache

0 2 years ago

Whether stress-induced or genetic, headaches are a common condition that can affect anyone. This includes neurologists — AKA the specialists who treat headache disorders.

“Headache is any pain affecting the head, upper face or upper neck. Headaches are called ‘primary’ when they arise from biological changes within the brain itself,” Robert Kaniecki, the director of the UPMC Headache Center in Pittsburgh, told HuffPost. “These include migraine headaches, tension-type headaches, and cluster headaches.”

Migraine-induced headaches cause additional symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, fatigue, visual disturbances and more. People may also experience “secondary” headaches if there is another underlying illness or cause for the headache, Kaniecki said.

Worldwide, headache disorders are considered one of the most common — yet under-treated — disorders of the nervous system. Additionally, a 2018 study found that one in six people in the U.S. reported having a migraine or severe headache over a three-month period.

Find a calming space.

Creating a quiet and relaxing environment is often the first step some neurologists take to alleviate headache pain.

“If I have a headache, I rest or lie down for as long as I can, and it doesn’t depend on the time of day,” said Faye Begeti, a neurology doctor and neuroscientist in the U.K. “With migraines in particular, people usually find that they have to lie down in a quiet, dark room.”

Distract your mind.

With busy schedules and responsibilities, taking a quick siesta isn’t always feasible. Rami Burstein, a professor of anesthesia and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, explained that he tends to utilize relaxing distractions when he can’t power nap in the workplace.

“As contrary as it may sound, walking can be helpful and reading,” Burstein said.


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