Which Doctor to See for a Headache, Headache or Migraine?

The Headache Specialist: The Neurologist

The specialist doctor who takes care of headaches is the neurologist. This professional is trained to deal with all the complexity of the nervous system, which encompasses the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

Headache, or headache, is just one of the various manifestations of disorders of this system.

Diagnosis and Classification of Headaches

There are different types of headaches. Some are primary, such as a migraine or tension headache, and others are secondary, resulting from another medical problem, such as an infection or tumor.

The neurologist is trained to identify the source of pain, through clinical examinations, patient history and, when necessary, complementary examinations, such as magnetic resonance imaging or tomography.

Headache investigation – Primary vs Secondary

Primary headaches are those that do not have an identifiable organic cause, the main ones being migraine and tension-type headache. Migraines usually cause throbbing pain on one side of the head, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, photophobia and phonophobia. Tension headaches present with bilateral pain, like pressure around the head.

On the other hand, secondary headaches have an identifiable underlying cause, which may be vascular, infectious, neoplastic, traumatic or metabolic. Examples are post-traumatic headache and headache due to intracranial hypertension.

The Dangers of Self-Medication

It is common that, when faced with uncomfortable pain, many people choose to take medication on their own. However, self-medication can be dangerous. In addition to masking symptoms that could help with the diagnosis, inappropriate use of medications can intensify crises and bring unwanted side effects.

Treatment will depend on the diagnosis and may involve symptomatic and preventive medications, behavioral interventions and, in some cases, surgery.

Medications such as analgesics, anti-inflammatories, antidepressants and anticonvulsants can be used under medical supervision.

When to See a Neurologist?

Migraine and Tension Headache - Differences

It is important to see a neurologist whenever the headache becomes frequent, very intense, or presents different characteristics than usual.

It is also essential to consult this specialist when the headache is accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, visual or balance changes.


Headaches, although common, should never be neglected. Assessment by a neurologist is the key to an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, ensuring the patient’s quality of life and well-being. In case of any atypical symptoms, it is always recommended to seek medical advice.

It is important to remember that the ideal headache treatment depends on the correct diagnosis and the underlying cause of the pain.

Source: blogdasaude.com.br

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