Headache

South Valley Neurology

Neurologists and Pediatric Neurologist located in Morgan Hill, CA & San Jose, CA

Headaches are one of the most common nervous system disorders. Most people experience brief, mild headaches, but about 17% of children and 10-20% of adults suffer from frequent or severe headaches. The exceptional team at South Valley Neurology is known for its expertise in treating headaches and migraines using the newest medications and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment, use the online booking feature or call the office in San Jose, California, for pediatric care or the office in Morgan Hill, California, for older children and adult appointments.

Headache Q & A

What causes headaches?

Headaches are categorized as primary or secondary, depending on their cause:

Primary headaches

Primary headaches develop from a problem in your head or neck, such as nerve and blood vessel conditions, muscle tension, and chemical activity in your brain. Tension headaches and migraines are two of the most common primary headaches.

Secondary headaches

Secondary headaches arise from an underlying health problem. For example, traumatic brain injury, infections, sinus congestion, and jaw disorders often cause a secondary headache.

What symptoms develop due to headaches?

By definition, all headaches cause pain, but their severity, duration, and other symptoms differ for each type of headache.:

Tension headaches

Tension headaches, or stress headaches, are associated with tight muscles, stress, and lack of sleep. You’ll experience mild to moderate pain that typically feels like your head is being squeezed.  

Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches are known for causing severe, piercing pain. The headaches occur in clusters, with daily headaches for weeks or months before they go into remission. The pain is usually centered around one eye or one side of your head, but it may radiate throughout your head, face, and neck.

Migraine headaches

Migraines cause intense, throbbing pain that’s often focused around one temple but can affect both sides of your face. These headaches last 4-72 hours and are accompanied by other symptoms, including vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to smells, lights, and sounds. Migraines are triggered by many different factors, including caffeine, skipping a meal, stress, hormones, and weather changes.

How are headaches treated?

Your doctor at South Valley Neurology customizes your treatment based on the cause and type of headache. They perform an examination that includes a neurological assessment and diagnostic testing as needed. When lifestyle factors or triggers contribute to your headaches, they help you identify the source and come up with a plan to avoid the triggers.

Depending on the type of headache, you may benefit from medication to decrease your pain, shorten the duration, and prevent future headaches. Other headache treatments include:

  • Nerve blocks
  • Stress management
  • Sphenocath procedure
  • Botox® injections for chronic migraines
  • Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)

CGRP is one of today’s newest and most advanced treatments for migraines. The medication stops headache pain and reduces migraine frequency by blocking the activity of specific proteins.

If you regularly get headaches, call South Valley Neurology or request an appointment online today.