Important headache questions you should think about.

As your Chiropractor, it is part of my job to ask you the right questions and rule out harmful and imminently dangerous situations like stroke or traumatic headaches.  Expect to answer numerous questions about your headaches, your history of headaches and other medical or personal information you may not deem important.  Be as honest and exhaustive as you can so that we arrive at the most accurate and appropriate diagnosis.  Prepare yourself and if you already notice red flags, consult a medical professional immediately.  The following is for reference only and is not meant to be used by you to self-diagnose a condition.

  1. Is this your first or worst headache?
  2. Did you fall or get into an accident recently?
  3. Have you had a medical or dental procedure performed recently?
  4. How bad is your pain right now? (scale of 1 to 10: 10 being worse pain imaginable)
  5. Do you experience headaches on a regular basis?
  6. Is this headache like your usual headaches?
  7. Do you have any symptoms before your headache starts? If so, what?
  8. What kind of pain do you experience? (sharp, dull, ache, throbbing, stabbing, band like, pressure, etc and accompanying symptoms)
  9. When did your headache begin?  Was is slow or rapid in development?
  10. Point to your pain.  Does it go anywhere else?
  11. What other medical problems have you or are you experiencing?
  12. Do you take any drugs/medications? If so, tell me what.

Partially adopted from: Randal Clinch, 2001, in American Family Physician.  “Evaluation of acute headaches in adults”.