headache and facial pain

Cracked Screens & Holey Socks!

Cracked Screens & Holey Socks!

That’s what it takes to start a new clinic and feed the embers of a revolutionary healthcare model for those with headache and facial pain. In this post, I take a break from going over primary headache types to discuss this personal epiphany.

Tension-Type Headaches (TTH)

Tension-Type Headaches (TTH)

Tension Type Headache is one of the primary headache types, most people with tension type headaches do not seek medical attention unless the headache becomes more frequent as in chronic tension type headache.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster Headaches

Primary headache syndromes include migraine, tension-type headache, and trigeminal autonomic cephalgias.  This class of headaches includes subtypes like the cluster headache. It is one of the most painful conditions known to mankind.  Indeed, this headache-type was once referred to as “suicide headache”.

Lifestyle and Headache

As with any chronic condition, it is important to actively participate in healthy lifestyle modifications that can decrease headache burden. This is especially true of the primary headache types (which we will delve into in upcoming posts).

Lifestyle is more than nutrition and hydration, so it is important to focus on physical and mental health as well. Our brains like structure, but also need to be stimulated from an intellectual and social perspective. 

Make a schedule and stick to it.  Eat regular meals with brightly colored fruits and vegetables, stay hydrated and limit caffeine intake after 2pm. Wake up and go to bed around the same time each day.  Include at least 20 minutes of physical activity per day.  Start with low-impact activities like walking or yoga and work up to that goal.  Include volunteer activities at least once per week. 

Try to do something mentally stimulating (not frustrating!), like playing along with Jeopardy, crossword puzzles, or Sudoku at least one hour per day. Include volunteer activities and interaction with others (outside your immediate family) at least once per week.

Much like nutrition and hydration, these are general suggestions and your specific objectives should be tailored based on YOU! Happy Valentine’s Day :)

Image by Thomas Quaritsch via Unsplash

Image by Thomas Quaritsch via Unsplash

Migraine Poem at 3 AM

Migraine Poem at 3 AM

Migraineurs are not alone in their thoughts and pain, and even their interdependence on loved ones. We can use this to fuel the fire in our fight against headache. February is Headache on the Hill.

Headache: Primary vs Secondary

Headache: Primary vs Secondary

Headache is a term used to describe any discomfort above the shoulders, so it typically includes the head and face.  It is a symptom, not a diagnosis. “Headache” is the broader umbrella term under which primary and secondary headaches fall. These subcategories can then be further divided.   

Broaching Cluster

Broaching Cluster

My New Year resolution for IHC is to increase awareness for headache and facial pain.  I will take the next several blog posts to go over basic headache information and some lifestyle strategies that can help. In general, terms used to describe primary headache syndromes are often misunderstood and misused.

Primary headache syndromes include migraine, tension-type headache, and trigeminal autonomic cephalgias. Among the TACs is the most painful headache condition known to mankind: the cluster headache.

Telemedicine

Telemedicine

Who better to field a headache question from my patient than me? I understand that sometimes, even though we may have reviewed the patient’s individual headache plan together in the office (or on the phone, etc.), once he/she leaves the office, the terminology or general plan can become confusing or fuzzy. So, if someone has a question about their treatment, and I am available in real-time, then they can contact me and I will do my best to answer and help him/her at the time of need!

Director of Operations

Director of Operations

The great thing about direct primary care practices is that many docs can do their thing with minimal or no staff, much reducing costs all around.  However, in my circumstances, I’d be building a novel center in the hopes of improving headache and facial pain care across the board.  It needs to be solid from the start but also able to adapt quickly, I need another brain. Yep, a director of operations.

Reflecting on Feedback - Clinic Structure

Reflecting on Feedback - Clinic Structure

Okay! The more and more I researched Direct Primary Care, and looked into how headache clinics around the country were structured, the more I realized this could really transform headache care across the nation and beyond – perhaps. 

Obtaining feedback from physicians, patients and friends allowed me to reflect on a working headache and facial pain clinic structure.

A Passion for Headache & Facial Pain

A Passion for Headache & Facial Pain

Why did I pick neurology and specifically, headache medicine? 

In a nutshell, it is fascinating and there is a lot of good to be done, especially given that the headache and facial pain population is underserved with a paucity of doctors who have specific training in this area.