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New Therapies and Drug Trials

Better Ways To Treat Your Headache (… and Pills Didn’t Make the List)

Ways to Find Relief

You’ve tried everything to find relief from your headache. Or have you?

Up to one in 20 adults suffer a headache every day. Migraine is a specific type of painful headache that affects more than 38 million people. Migraine often causes throbbing pain on one side of your head and can be triggered by stress, hormonal changes, certain foods or change in the weather. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, often caused by stress or muscle tension. Cluster headaches are rare, and characterized by severe sudden pain. Although their exact cause is unknown, they’re named after their sudden attacks, often of recurrent headaches known as a cluster period.

Most people often turn to medication to find relief. Since it can provide temporary relief, it’s easy to overuse medication, which can actually worsen headaches.

There are many preventive approaches to consider that are safe and effective for addressing headaches and go to the root cause of the pain. “We spend a lot of time finding someone’s triggers,” says Northwestern Medicine Neurologist Katherine S. Carroll, MD. “Stress is one of the most common triggers I see in patients, which leads to muscle tension.”

The Northwestern Medicine Comprehensive Headache Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital offers comprehensive care for both chronic and acute migraines and headaches. Dr. Carroll also adds that psychological support, which can address stress, also is important.

Here are some ways to alleviate your headache (and no, pills didn’t make the list).

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Comprehensive Headache Program

Katherine S. Carroll, MD
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  • Primary Specialty Neurology
  • Secondary Specialty Clinical Neurophysiology
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