When is my headache more than a headache?

Man rubbing headEveryone has experienced headaches, even those that they might call "the worst headache of my life."

For some, maybe this has occurred multiple times.

But, according to Dr. Alex Steinbock, a board-certified neurologist with McLaren Macomb, these occurrences don't necessarily mean that the headache sufferer should immediately seek medical intervention. But if they are becoming more and more frequent, he says, then it becomes time.

"We all get headaches, even very bad headaches," he said. "But if a patient keeps finding themselves getting very painful headaches and taking medication on a fairly regular basis without it doing anything to lessen symptoms, the time has come for them to make an appointment with a neurologist."

Dr. Alex Steinbock

Dr. Steinbock recommends seeking treatment if experiencing the following:
- Frequent headaches requiring regular medication more than 10 times per month
- If recommended treatments are not working well
- Experiencing unusual symptoms
- Over 50 years old and suffering from chronic headaches
- If headaches are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness, blurred vision, weakness and loss of control of body parts or speech
- Two or more headaches per week
- Headaches getting worse with time, despite treatment

"No one has to suffer," Dr. Steinbock said. "There are always treatments that can alleviate the symptoms and, more importantly, the pain."

To learn more about neurological care at McLaren Macomb or to make an appointment to address chronic headaches, visit mclaren.org/macombneurology.