Although painful and troublesome, most headaches are minor and can be easily treated with aspirin or another pain reliever. (Do not use aspirin in anyone under age 19 because it may increase the risk for Reye's syndrome, a potentially fatal disease.) But if your headaches are severe, recur frequently, or are accompanied by other symptoms, you need to see a health care provider.
Headaches are categorized according to their underlying causes. Common types of headaches include:
When Would I Need an MRI to Diagnose My Headaches?
Your doctor might recommend one if you're getting headaches daily or almost every day. You might also get one if you had a CT scan that didn’t show clear-cut results.
MRI scans also can look at parts of the brain that aren't as easily viewed with CT scans, such as the spine at the level of the neck and the back portion of the brain. An MRI can’t diagnose migraines, cluster, or tension headaches, but it can help doctors rule out other medical conditions that may cause your symptoms, such as: