You should see a headache neurologist if headaches disrupt your life–period. Headaches are complex, with many possible causes and treatments. They are associated with sleep disorders, and neck pain, and the newly recongized hypermobility syndrome, in ways we’re just not beginning to appreciate. These complicated associations and treatment plans are beyond the scope of Primary Care doctors, who are not specialists in the fields of headache, sleep, and musculoskeletal disorders (like neck pain) due to the fact that they see such a wide variety of illnesses.
Specialist treatment, including that by a headache neurologist, is covered by most insurance companies, though some have rules about referrals.
A Headache Neurologist May Not Always Recommend Medications!
A headache neurologist can help differentiate a tension-type headache from a migraine, and from all the other types of head pain that will not respond to the types of headache medications frequently used by non-headache specialists in a one-size-fits-all fashion to treat headache. And as you have seen from the video above, a headache neurologist can suggest a comprehensive approach of both medication and non-medication therapies, as appropriate.
Migraine, sinus headaches, tension type headaches, rebound, cervicogenic, cluster, and autonomic cephalalgias require a headache neurologist. Sleep and sleep position is important in triggering headaches, and only a multidisciplinary headache center, with an accredited sleep disorders center, PT, and Imaging on site is likely to be able to take care of worsening or complicated headache syndromes.
A headache neurologist will take a medical history and perform a detailed neurological examination, something a family doctor and non specialist cannot do. And a headache neurologist may want to rule out underlying medical problems that might be causing or complicating the headache. Frequently, brain, carotid or vertebral artery, or neck imaging is abnormal and crucial in the treatment of patients with worsening headache, and points to the underlying root cause.
Sometimes, though, we have to admit to patients that we cannot get rid of their ability to have headaches. That ability is hardwired in, and they are one of the “lucky” ones in the population who can actually have headaches. But we can nearly always improve their quality of life by getting control of the frequency of their headaches, so they only have to take occasional meds. To do this, however, requires the comprehensive approach of a headache neurologist, and not just one more pill.
For more about headaches, click on the link to DoctorRowe.com in the upper right hand corner of this page. And schedule an appointment at our institute today, by clicking on the “Request Appointment” button on this page. You’ll be glad you did!
What can I do If I can’t come to the Rowe Neurology Institute in Lenexa KS or Los Angeles?
Dr. Vernon Rowe has a web-based informational website that provide in-depth information about each of the neurological conditions that we specialize in, including informational videos like this one, with transcripts, that are unlike anything else on the web–they are NOT SPONSORED by any pharmaceutical company or other commercial entity. It is DOCTORROWE.COM The information provided will help you navigate your care wherever you go, with knowledge about the questions you should ask your doctor, and the tests that may be recommended, as well as some tips on how to obtain cost effective care, wherever you live.