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 6/12/2014

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 >>
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 >>
Concussion Concussion (an injury to the brain) can be cause by significant blunt force trauma to the head, for example, falls, car accidents, being struck in the head. Tre...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