Font Size

Worst Headache of Your Life (cont.)

Worst Headache of Your Life Diagnosis

  • The doctor will ask you questions about your headache and other medical problems and will do a physical examination.
  • Blood or urine tests may be ordered.
  • Specialized imaging tests, such as a CT scan or an MRI may be performed under certain circumstances, either as an emergency procedure or on a more routine basis. Regular X-rays are rarely helpful.
  • Certain types of headaches may require the doctor to do a lumbar puncture or spinal tap. This test involves the removal of a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid around the brain and spinal cord) to examine for signs of infection, bleeding, or other physiological problems. Lumbar puncture is a safe test, but unfortunately the removal of spinal fluid may make the patient's headache transiently worse.
  • In some cases referral to a specialist may be necessary, depending on the results of specific tests; for example, a referral to a neurosurgeon is usually ordered if bleeding in the brain is found.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/7/2016

Must Read Articles Related to Worst Headache of Your Life

Brain Infection
Brain Infection Our brain, the spinal cord, and its surrounding structures could become infected by a large spectrum of germs (that is, microorganisms). Bacteria and viruses ar...learn more >>
Alternative and Complementary Medicine for Migraine and Cluster Headaches
CAM for Migraine and Cluster Headaches Migraine headaches are intense, recurring headaches that are sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting and other symptoms. Alternative therapies that have prove...learn more >>
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning material containing carbon. Carbon monoxide kills nearly 400 people each year in the U.S. ...learn more >>

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Migraine Headache »

Although migraine is a term applied to certain headaches with a vascular quality, overwhelming evidence suggests that migraine is a dominantly inherited disorder characterized by varying degrees of recurrent vascular-quality headache, photophobia, sleep disruption, and depression.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary