Are you having back pain with any of the following?
We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.
We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.
Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.
Headaches affect almost everyone. Migraines and tension headaches are the most common varieties of headache, although there are many different types. While most headaches can be treated at home, some types need immediate medical care.
A migraine is defined as a headache lasting between 4 and 72 hours, accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting, and light and sound sensitivity. You may experience pain on one side of the head and it pulsates. It can also get worse with exertion, such as walking up a flight of stairs. Migraines can be an inherited condition.
Most migraines progress through 5 distinct phases. The most recent migraine research recommends specific treatment approaches for each phase.
1. Prodrome. During the 24 hours before a migraine headache begins, you may experience any or all of the following symptoms:
You may notice a subtle forecast of an incoming headache as the chemical changes of a migraine are starting inside your brain. Treating your headache with an over-the-counter pain reliever or a prescription migraine medication during this stage can avert the migraine.
2. Aura. During this phase, your vision may be disrupted by flashing lights, shimmering zigzag lines, blind spots, or blurring. You may also feel a numb or tingling sensation in the lips and hands and have difficulty speaking. This is known as a migraine aura. About 15 percent of migraine sufferers experience migraine with aura. Some will have aura only once or twice in their life. It is a classic symptom of migraine.
3. Headache. Typically, a migraine headache is located on one side of the head, and the pain pulsates or throbs like the beat of a drum. The muscles in your neck and scalp may also feel tender. You may feel nauseous, and your senses may be magnified. Sounds will seem louder and lights brighter. The pain can be disabling, and you will probably feel like lying down in a dark room.
4. Resolution. During this phase, your headache diminishes and your body goes back to normal over several hours, usually while you rest.
5. Postdrome. Your body recuperates from the migraine during this final phase. Your muscles feel tired and achy as though you were recovering from the flu. You may feel emotionally volatile, irritable, and even slightly confused. This stage can last for 2 days.
If you suffer from migraines, you may experience the following symptoms:
Migraine with aura describes a subgroup of migraines that are associated with visual neurological symptoms that begin 20 to 60 minutes before the headache itself. The most common aura symptoms include:
You may experience an aura without a headache. Also, there are some less common forms of migraines that have different symptoms.
Accurately diagnosing the cause of your headaches is important so that we can choose the most effective treatment.
We diagnose your condition by asking you questions about your symptoms and past medical history, and performing a physical examination. This enables us to verify that your symptoms are not caused by a more serious underlying illness or condition.
When we suspect another condition we may order a brain scan, such as a CT scan or MRI. We may recommend additional tests if:
Some kinds of headaches, particularly chronic daily headaches, can be caused by depression. We will also evaluate you for depression during your examination.
In addition, women can experience headache-type symptoms early on in pregnancy. In the majority of cases, there is no apparent cause for this condition. Treatment is based upon symptoms and specified by what is safest for you and the pregnancy. By midpregnancy, most of these symptoms will decrease in severity or disappear entirely. Later in pregnancy, a new-onset headache may be a sign of a different condition or pregnancy complications. Any persistent or severe headache should be evaluated.
In many cases, you can prevent a migraine from developing by treating it appropriately during the prodrome phase. There are some things that you can do to help control the severity of your migraines:
There may be factors, such as weather changes and changes in barometric temperature, that can trigger migraines. These are largely outside of your control. However, you may find that you function better and have fewer attacks when you follow a routine that incorporates regular sleep, regular meals, regular exercise, and minimal stress. Common triggers you can avoid include:
Keep a Headache Diary and bring it to your appointments. The diary can help us understand your headache pattern, identify any obvious triggers, and manage your treatment effectively. Include the following details in your diary:
Many headaches can be prevented by committing to a healthy lifestyle that includes:
Our online health coach has programs that can help you lose weight, eat more healthy foods, quit smoking, and manage stress. Please refer to our Managing Your Headaches program for detailed information about everyday changes you can make to help reduce and control your headaches.
Anxiety and depression can be underlying causes of headaches. Our online video, Understanding Depression, can help you evaluate your own symptoms to see if depression may be a factor. Contact us if you think you need to be evaluated or treated for depression.
Find, or create, your own headache support group. We have headache management classes at many of our medical centers in Northern California. A number of community headache organizations also have online or in-person support groups for headache sufferers.
Most headaches can be treated at home with over-the-counter pain relievers. If you have regular headaches that do not respond to these medications, or if you are having symptoms that concern you, your first contact will typically be with your personal physician, who will evaluate your health and symptoms.
If specialty care is needed, your personal physician will facilitate the process of scheduling an appointment in my department. If appropriate, she or he might call me or one of my colleagues while you are in the office so we can all discuss your care together. If we decide you need an appointment with me after that discussion, we can often schedule it the same day or soon thereafter.
During your office visit, we will discuss your medical and family history and I will perform a physical exam. I will explain the findings of your exam and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We will discuss treatment options, and together we will create a treatment plan that is right for you.
If you need to talk with me after your visit or procedure, please call my office. You can also e-mail me with nonurgent issues from this website whenever it is convenient for you.
If you have urgent concerns or issues while my office is closed, or need general medical advice, you can call the Appointment and Advice line, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will be connected with a nurse who can give you immediate advice.
If you are experiencing a serious problem or an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room when the clinic is not open.
Having all of our Kaiser Permanente departments located together or nearby, including pharmacy, laboratory, radiology, and health education, makes getting your care easier for you.
Another major benefit is our comprehensive electronic medical record system, which allows all of the doctors and clinicians involved in your care to stay connected on your health status and collaborate with each other as appropriate.
When every member of the health care team is aware of all aspects of your condition, care is safer and more effective.
We will work together to monitor and assess how your medications are working and make adjustments over time. Prescriptions can be filled at any Kaiser Permanente pharmacy. Just let me know which pharmacy works best for you, and I will send the prescription electronically in advance of your arrival at the pharmacy.
For lab tests, I will use our electronic medical record system to send the requisition to the Kaiser Permanente laboratory of your choice. For imaging procedures, we will schedule an appointment with the Radiology department. When the results are ready, I will contact you with your results by letter, secure e-mail message, or phone. In addition, you can view most of your laboratory results online, along with any comments that I have attached to explain them.
If we decide together that your condition would also benefit from the care of other types of specialists, our staff will help arrange the appointment(s) with one or more of my specialty colleagues.
I will recommend that you review educational information and tools to help you prepare for your procedure or surgery. The information will often help you decide whether surgery is right for you. If you decide to have a surgery or procedure, the information will provide details about how to prepare and what to expect.
If we proceed with surgery, I will have my Surgery Scheduler contact you to determine a surgery date and provide you with additional instructions regarding your procedure. Once your surgery is scheduled, a medical colleague of mine will contact you to conduct a preoperative medical evaluation that will assure that you are properly prepared for your surgery.
As your specialist, I have a goal to provide high-quality care and to offer you choices that make your health care convenient. I recommend that you become familiar with the many resources we offer so that you can choose the services that work best for you.
My Doctor Online is available at any time that is most convenient for you. From my home page you can:
If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder.
This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.