Most people who suffer from headaches tell their doctors about their pain only as an afterthought. And 31 percent have never seen a health care provider for their condition, according to the National Headache Foundation (NHF). The result is a lot of needless suffering.
“Headaches are a neurobiological disease and are treatable,” says Seymour Diamond, M.D., founder of the NHF and a headache specialist in Chicago. “If you’re experiencing headache pain that affects your work, home, and social life, make an appointment with your doctor to specifically address your headache problem.”
When seeking treatment for headaches, start with your primary care provider. Discuss his or her experience and approach to headaches, including diagnosis and treatment.
Learn more about getting the right help for headaches ›
What if you could stop a migraine before it even started? For some people, taking medication every day can help prevent migraines and make them less painful when they occur. Although these medications may not eliminate your migraines entirely, they can provide some relief from chronic migraine pain.
You may benefit from taking a preventive migraine medication if you:
Learn if you should take preventive medication for migraines ›
Have two or more migraines a month that keep you from your work or activities for three or more days per month
Have migraines that don't respond to other medications or you can't take other medications for acute treatment
Use a drug such as a triptan or ergotamine more than twice a week to stop migraines
Have migraines with prolonged aura
Have been diagnosed with a severe type of migraine, such as a hemiplegic migraine