Dealing with Headache After a Stroke

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Headache is a common complaint. It can be the result of several conditions such as depression, stress, lack of sleep or underlying diseases. Sometimes, it can be caused by a stroke. So if you experience post-stroke headache, what should you do? Let us check the article.

Why do you have headache after stroke?

Swelling in your brain, the damage of some parts of your brain after stroke, or the changes in blood flows to your brain can lead to post-stroke headache. Post-stroke headache is more likely to occur if your stroke was caused by bleeding into the brain.

There can be 4 types of post-stroke headache, including:

  • Medication overuse headaches: these headaches occur when you use too much pain medications.
  • Muscle tension headaches: these headaches can be managed easily.
  • Migraine headaches: these headaches can be extremely painful. They are usually associated with nausea, fatigue. Doctor may prescribe some strong medications to treat this condition.
  • Headaches caused by other medications used to treat stroke, including some types you used to thin your blood or reduce blood pressure.

What should you do?

If you experience headache after stroke, you should talk to your doctor to make sure your post-stroke headache is not a sign of a serious problem and receive proper treatment. Most of the time, headache is not something you need to worry about. Doctors can help you determine the cause and recommend appropriate treatment because headache is manageable.

Treatment depends on the type of your headache. Treatments often include:

  • Medications help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Rest: just stop thinking and stay in your comfortable bed.
  • Physical techniques: change your thoughts, behaviors that are related to your headache.
  • Exercises: doing exercises can help you relax and increase your strength. You can work with your therapist to design a proper treatment program.
  • Healthy foods: eat more vegetables and fruits.
  • Breaking bad habits such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol.

Call your doctor if the symptoms become more severe or there are changes in pattern of your headaches. This may be a sign of a serious problem. If you experience sudden severe headache, this may be because you are having another stroke.

Usually headache is not a sign of a serious disease; but still, it is important to have your headache checked for several reasons mentioned above. Headache occurs more commonly after an ischemic stroke attack, and post-stroke headache can be managed.

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