Worst Headache of Your Life (cont.)
Worst Headache of Your Life
- 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.
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