Headache and Migraine
Headache and Migraine Treatments in Thousand Oaks, CA
Persistent headaches are a prevalent issue that affects many individuals throughout the world, but that does not mean that you should not seek the help of a highly trained neurologist. Headaches can cause significant daily pain, decrease your quality of life, or even be an indication of a more critical problem.
Dr. M. Asif Taqi, a quintuple-board certified interventional and stroke neurointerventionalist, advises all patients to seek help if they experience headaches or any other signs of potential neurological problems. If you have severe or debilitating headaches, Dr. Taqi will use his vast expertise and resources to find the solution that can give you the relief you’ve been seeking.
If you would like to learn more about headache and migraine treatments in Thousand Oaks and West Hills, CA, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Vascular Neurology of Southern California today.
Headache Classifications and Types
Before determining which treatment method he will use, Dr. Taqi needs to understand your headache more by pinpointing the specific source of your pain.
The first step is to determine what type of headache you are experiencing. There are three major headache classifications:
Primary headaches are by far the most common type of headache in the world, and generally the most painful. If untreated, these headaches can become so painful that they interfere with one’s quality of life. The three main types of primary headaches are:
- Migraines: Migraines can be excruciating headaches that are caused by many factors. Migraines are believed to be caused by hormonal changes in women, bright lights, strong smells, and other sources, and are more common in women than in men. Roughly 28 million people in the United States experience migraine headaches. Migraine pain may be so severe that one may feel the need to retreat to a dark, quiet place for hours. This type of headache is complex and more challenging to treat because it requires an expert understanding of migraines.
- Tension headaches: The most common type of headache, tension headaches stem from stress, lack of sleep, skipping meals, eye strain, and a variety of other factors. Tension headaches are attributed to excessive contraction of muscles around the head.
- Cluster headaches: Cluster headaches are a rarer form of primary headache. These headaches can be severely painful, and usually occur on one side of one’s head. They typically happen at night and last between 15 minutes to three hours.
Diagnostic Testing and Individualized Treatments
The best treatment begins with the right diagnostic tests. When you arrive for your consultation, we take the time to learn what your specific symptoms are, how frequently you experience them, and other crucial details necessary in finding the best treatment solution. When needed, we use cutting-edge testing equipment to pinpoint the cause of your pain.
Some diagnostics we may use include:
- Blood chemistry and urinalysis
- CT Scan
- Sinus X-Ray
- Eye Exam
- Spinal Tap
Dr. Taqi believes that there is no “cookie-cutter” method that is best for everyone. Although some headaches may only require rest, hydration, over-the-counter medications, or other simple solutions, we understand the underlying complexity that makes some headaches harder to cure than others. We rely on our expertise and resources to find the plan that is right for you.
Botox Injections for Headaches and Migraines
For patients who have a history of migraine headaches or tension headaches that occur greater than 15 days out of a month, OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox) may be a treatment option for you. You and your expert physician will discuss in detail the benefits and possible side effects of the procedure to determine if this is the right course of treatment for you.
While Botox is known to be used for aesthetic purposes, in 2010, the FDA approved its use in the treatment of chronic headache for patients greater than 18 years of age. Since then, Botox has been widely considered an effective treatment for chronic headaches, among other conditions.
What is the Procedure Like?
For your injection visit, you will meet your Vascular Neurology of Southern California physician in our medical office. During your appointment, your physician will inject units of Botox into specific areas. The injections sites are located just above your eyebrows, upper forehead, side and back of your head, neck, and just above your shoulder blades.
Botox procedures tend to be pretty quick, and for most patients, the whole experience takes only 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Some patients may experience side effects after their injections; often, they are mild and resolve on their own. Your physician will cover all of the possibilities during your consultation.
What Do I Do After the Procedure?
Because Botox is a temporary solution, recurring injections will be required. Most patients schedule their appointments 2.5 to 3 months apart.
Headache and Migraine Relief with Dr. M. Asif Taqi
Dr. Taqi is one of the leading specialists in migraine and headache relief in LA and Ventura Counties. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about how he can help you with headaches, stroke prevention, or a variety of other neurological disorders in Thousand Oaks and West Hills, call us at 1-805-242-4884 or schedule a meeting with Dr. Taqi today.