Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Headaches Specialist

Ratnayake Pain Management

Dilangani Ratnayake, MD

Pain Medicine Physician & Anesthesiologist located in Palm Desert, CA

Severe headaches like migraines and occipital neuralgia can make it impossible to function when they strike, and if they occur regularly, can cause serious disruption to your life. If you're experiencing frequent headaches, interventional pain specialist Dilangani Ratnayake, MD, of Ratnayake Pain Management in Palm Desert, California, can help. Dr. Ratnayake provides the most effective, advanced treatments for persistent headaches, including medical Botox® injections. Call Ratnayake Pain Management today to schedule a consultation or book your appointment using the online form.

Headaches Q&A

What causes headaches?

Headaches develop when nerves in your head and neck send pain signals to your brain.

Some causes of headaches are obvious — you would expect to get a headache if you hit your head, for instance. Headaches are also a common symptom of illnesses like colds and flu, which cause congestion and inflammation.

Stress, muscle tension, insufficient sleep, and dehydration are some of the most widespread causes of headaches. You could also develop a headache from exposure to pollutants, chemicals, or allergens, and excessive light or noise levels.

As well as these identifiable triggers for headaches, many people suffer from chronic headaches where the reason is less apparent. These types of headaches can occur regularly and cause severe pain and disability.

What kinds of headaches are there?

Everyday headaches are something most people experience now and again. There are, however, numerous types of headaches — over 150 altogether, although some of these affect very few people.

Types of headaches that more commonly cause chronic pain include:

  • Migraines
  • Cluster headaches
  • Chronic daily headaches
  • Hemicrania continua
  • Sinus headaches
  • Rebound headaches
  • Ice pick headaches
  • Thunderclap headaches
  • Occipital neuralgia
  • Cervicogenic headaches

Migraines are the most well-known type of severe, chronic headaches. They cause disabling pain that's so intense it leaves you struggling to function for hours or sometimes days. You're likely to develop sensitivity to light and sound and feel lightheaded.

Many migraine sufferers experience nausea and vomiting and develop blurred vision. Auras are a phenomenon that also affect some people when they have a migraine, causing visual disturbances like spots or flashing lights before your eyes.

How are headaches treated?

Headaches due to stress and other everyday causes typically resolve themselves within a few hours. Over-the-counter medications are effective treatments for headaches like these.

A headache that's due to dehydration is treatable by rehydrating your body, and those that develop because of exposure to light, sound, chemicals, and other external triggers should resolve once your environment changes.

Headaches that accompany illnesses like colds should clear up when you get better. Sinus headaches might require antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication.

How are chronic headaches treated?

Dr. Ratnayake can help reduce the severity and frequency of chronic headaches and migraines using a range of treatments, such as:

  • Muscle relaxants
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Electrical and magnetic pulse technologies
  • Ergotamine and caffeine 
  • Anti-nausea medicine
  • Glucocorticoids 
  • Beta-blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Occipital nerve block
  • Steroid trigger point injections

One of the most effective ways of treating persistent, severe migraines is medical Botox injections. Dr. Ratnayake gives you several injections of Botox in your head and neck every three months to help reduce and prevent migraines.

Find the most effective relief available for chronic headaches by calling Ratnayake Pain Management today, or book an appointment online.