Severe, refractory headaches can cause debilitating pain and account for about 12% of emergency room visits. If you suffer from severe headaches and traditional treatments haven’t helped, see pain management specialists, Rick Pescatore, DO, FAAEM, and Joseph Cesarine, M.D., in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. At Mullica Hill Advanced Therapies, the medical team offers cutting-edge, evidence-based pain relief methods to help stubborn, severe headaches. Schedule a visit today by calling the office or booking online.
Yes, headaches are divided into different categories based on the cause of your headache. These categories include:
Primary headaches include cervicogenic headaches, tension headaches, cluster headaches, and migraines. They all have their own unique symptoms and triggers, which means that headache severity and treatment can vary widely.
Secondary headaches are caused by another primary condition. Secondary headaches may be caused by high blood pressure, sinus infections, or head trauma. These headaches often require treatment for the pain as well as treatment for the underlying condition that’s causing your headache.
Facial neuralgias stem from the nerves in your face, while other types of facial pain may be related to joints, blood flow, or soft tissues in your face. Trigeminal neuralgia and headaches caused by temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction are included in this category.
Other headaches don’t fall into any of the other categories. They are unique in their triggers, symptoms, and pain patterns.
Specialist care at Mullica Hill Advanced Therapies can help severe, recurrent headaches. The team provides care for debilitating headaches that might otherwise send you to their emergency room looking for relief.
Headaches are diagnosed based on your symptoms, the location and severity of your pain, and a thorough medical exam. In some cases, the team may refer you for blood work or imaging to rule out other underlying causes of your headache before recommending treatment.
At Mullica Hill Advanced Therapies, the team treats severe, refractory headaches that don’t resolve with traditional methods — including neuroleptic agents, ketorolac, diphenhydramine, and dexamethasone. While this is the typical prescription provided for severe headaches in emergency rooms, it can cause major side effects and may leave you feeling comatose for hours after treatment.
As an alternative, the team offers low-dose propofol which works almost immediately to eliminate headache pain. The only common side effect of low-dose propofol use is mild drowsiness. The team can determine if propofol is right for you based on your symptoms, age, overall health, and medical history.
The exact mechanism of action for propofol is unknown, though research shows that it likely works in many ways. First, propofol has gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) potentiation, which means that it regulates pain signals sent in your brain, effectively decreasing pain. Second, propofol reduces pain sensitization in your brain, making your brain less sensitive and susceptible to pain signals. Third, it inhibits N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, which sense pain and painful stimuli.
Propofol also crosses the blood-brain barrier more quickly than traditional headache medications, helping it to begin working within minutes, rather than hours. Under the supervision of the medical team, you may benefit from low-dose propofol therapy.
To determine if your headaches can be relieved by propofol therapy, call or schedule a visit online at Mullica Hill Advanced Therapies now.