Headaches and Migraines

Headache is a serious illness that can cause you to miss out on family activities or take time away from work. Many people assume nothing can be done to decrease the severity or frequency of headaches, but most can be treated by your primary care provider. If your headaches don’t improve, Gundersen’s headache experts diagnose and treat all types of headache in adults and children.

Migraine headaches

Migraine headaches are often times debilitating and are three times more likely to occur in women than in men. Migraines are many times associated with nausea and sensitivity to light, noise or smells.

Gundersen’s headache experts diagnose migraines—which can be easily mistaken for other types of headache—and identify the triggers that may be causing them. If you are concerned about the amount of migraines you suffer, you are urged to keep a log of when you experience the headaches and share that information with your primary care provider.

We also work with you to prevent future migraines by identifying lifestyle changes and medications that can help you live migraine-free. Migraine-specific prescription medications can often stop severe headaches and help you return to normal function within two hours.

BOTOX treatment for chronic migraine

If you suffer from chronic migraine, you may benefit from BOTOX® injections administered by our headache specialists. Chronic migraine is characterized as having a history of migraines and suffering from headaches on 15 or more days per month with headaches lasting four hours a day or longer.

BOTOX is the first clinically studied preventative treatment to be approved by the FDA specifically for migraines. It is not known whether BOTOX is safe or effective to prevent headaches in patients with migraine who have 14 or fewer headaches each month (episodic migraine).

The recommended re-treatment schedule for BOTOX is every 12 weeks and is covered by most insurance companies if specific requirements are met. During treatment, you receive 31 very fine needle injections of BOTOX in a specific injection pattern in your head and neck. Please note that this treatment is different from cosmetic treatments with BOTOX.

Non-migraine headaches

Some patients who suffer from non-migraine headaches are able to treat their headaches with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen, though those who suffer from frequent or severe headaches may benefit from some of the same treatments used for migraines.

Tension headaches – Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, with aching or a sense of pressure affecting your temples, the front of your head or your head overall. These headaches are commonly brought on by stress, muscle tension, fatigue or hunger and usually last a few hours—though some may continue for days.

Cluster headaches – Cluster headaches are more likely to occur among men. They are characterized by sudden, severe, short-lived pain attacks on one side of your head which may repeat over several days or weeks. Those headache series may return every year or two.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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