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Expert advice on advanced diagnosis and treatment of painful headaches and migraines from the leading headache clinic in New Jersey.

Keeping a Headache Diary

Gabriel Santos - Thursday, August 01, 2013

Payman Sadeghi, MD

how keeping a headache diary can help ease your migraine symptoms

When a headache strikes it can take you down for the entire day and more. Headaches and chronic migraine can keep you from enjoying life or earning a living, but there is a way you can take control of this frustrating and painful condition.  

If you are suffering from frequent headaches it could be beneficial to keep a headache diary to keep track of pain levels, possible triggers for the headache and the times of day that the headache starts.  A headache diary is a very simple but effective method of keeping track of your headaches and helping us to provide you with the right treatment plan for you.  

Here are some of the details you might want to record in your headache diary:
  • Time the headache started and ended
  • Location of the pain (temples, behind eyes, back of neck, etc.)
  • Type of pain (stabbing, pressing, throbbing, etc.)
  • Pain intensity from 1 - 10
  • Are any other symptoms present?  Nausea?  Dizziness?
  • Medication or treatment taken
  • Did the medication or treatment work?
  • How was your normal routine affected?
  • Did you sleep well the night before the headache?  How many hours of sound sleep did you get?
  • What did you eat or drink before the headache?  Diet sodas, caffeine, artificial sweeteners and chocolate are all headache triggers. 
  • Was stress a factor today?

No Two Headaches Are The Same—What is Yours Like Today?

You might think that your headaches are of the same intensity today as they were yesterday, but very often we find that no two days are the same.  You may have eaten a trigger food yesterday or been under more stress today. By recording the details of every headache episode in your diary you may start to notice an obvious pattern of events that you hadn’t noticed before.

Keeping a headache diary over a 2 week period can really help us to diagnose your headache or migraine problems and to recommend the right course of treatment for you. 

A Headache Diary Can Help To Prevent Headaches from Occurring

If your headaches are stress related, our team at the  New Jersey Headache Institute will work with you to lower those stress levels and to find ways in which you can reduce your headaches by making lifestyle changes.  If your headaches are random, as some often are, we can work on finding the right pain management treatment that will deliver swift relief when you need it the most.  By keeping a regular headache diary, you could prevent headaches from occurring in the first place.  

Just a Few Minutes a Day Can Make A Big Difference

It is important that you are disciplined when keeping your headache diary.  By taking your diary with you wherever you go, you can record each episode as it happens, where it happens.  A lot of our patients keep note of their headaches by using their cell phones.  Most people have their phones with them at all times and diary entries can quickly be entered or even spoken into their smart phone quickly and easily.  

Call our specialist migraine management team today at 908.315.5707 or use our contact form to book a consultation. Your headache diary can help us to find the right migraine and headache treatment that best suits your individual needs.

Dr. Payman Sadeghi is the co-founder of the New Jersey Headache Institute. He studied medicine at Nordestana University and finished his Internal Medicine internship and Neurology residency at the University of Texas.  Dr. Sadeghi has completed an electromyography super fellowship as well as many epilepsy and neuroimaging fellowships. At his residency in Neurology at the University of Texas Medical Branch Dr. Sadeghi gained extensive experience diagnosing and treating headache and migraine patients. That residency, along with Dr. Sadeghi's medical curiosity and his varied clinical experience, has made him a specialist in headaches and their treatment.

Dr. Sadeghi was also a clinical assistant professor during his time at the University of Texas. He is a member of the American Headache Society, the National Headache Foundation and the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Sadeghi is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Persian.

 





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