Headache Specialist

Pain Management Specialists & Anesthesiologists located in Des Moines, IA & West Des Moines, IA

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Headache services offered in Corner of Westown Pwky and 60th Street in West Des Moines, West Des Moines and East side of Des Moines, next to Perkins off of East Euclid, East Des Moines, IA

If you experience headaches more often than not, you may have a chronic condition. At Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management in West Des Moines and Des Moines, Iowa, the board-certified anesthesiologists and pain management specialists follow a multimodal approach to care to treat chronic headaches. Treating patients on-site helps lower the cost of co-pays and deductibles. To learn more, call Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management or schedule an appointment online today.

Headache Q & A

What is a headache?

A headache is a common condition that causes throbbing, dull, or sharp pain in your head. Headaches can range from mild to severe. 

Some individuals endure frequent headaches, while others experience intermittent pain. Without treatment, headaches can reduce your mobility and diminish your quality of life.

What are common types of headaches?

Of the many types of headaches, the most common are:

Tension headaches

The most common type of headache, a tension headache, typically feels like a tight band around the forehead that can cause pain in the head, neck, and behind the eyes.


A migraine is an intense type of headache that causes throbbing and pulsing on one side of the head. Along with severe head pain, migraines can lead to light and sound sensitivity, nausea and vomiting, vision loss, and “pins and needles” in the arms or legs.

Cluster headaches

A cluster headache is the most severe type. It’s typically one-sided and affects the space behind one of your eyes. The intensity of a cluster headache is often strong enough to wake you up in the middle of the night. While these headaches are rare, they can be debilitating.

Occipital neuralgia

Occipital neuralgia is a type of headache that stems from nerve irritation. When the occipital nerve becomes compressed or irritated, it can cause throbbing or piercing pain in the head, neck, and back of the ears.

What causes a headache?

The chemical activities in your brain and its nerves and muscles all play a role in causing headache pain. Muscle tension can also lead to chronic headaches and neck stiffness. 

Many people who endure chronic headaches have certain triggers that can activate an episode. Common headache triggers include:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Processed meat
  • Poor posture
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Changes in eating habits

The pain specialists at Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management can help identify your headache triggers to minimize the frequency of future pain episodes.

What are the treatments for headaches?

Headaches and migraines often respond well to a multimodal approach to treatment. After a comprehensive analysis that may include a physical exam, medical history review, bloodwork, and imaging scans, your pain specialist may recommend one or more of the following:

  • Botox® injections
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord stimulation

To learn more about headaches, call Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management or schedule an appointment online today.