While the brain itself is not sensitive to pain; there are networks of nerves (e.g. meninges), blood vessels, and muscles extending over the scalp, face, and neck that can become quite painful. While most headaches are benign and self-limiting, 16% of Americans experience some form of chronic headache. Headaches have a number of causes including, high blood pressure, fever, inflammation, infection, substance use, structural abnormalities, and as symptoms of other disorders. Some forms of headache are predominantly associated with muscular tension in the face or neck (e.g. tension headache) or with sustained awkward neck movements (e.g. cervicogenic headache). Other headaches are driven neurologically and are associated with vascular changes, nausea, and at times visual disturbances (e.g. migraine). A thorough diagnostic exam helps to determine the most appropriate treatment options for the different kinds of headaches.
- Cognitive-behavioral treatment for Chronic Headaches (Strong Research Support)