How Is NDPH Diagnosed?
NDPH is a descriptive diagnosis. This means that there is no specific test to determine that you have the condition. Your doctor will ask you about your headache. To be considered NDPH, your headache should meet specific criteria, including:
- You remember when the pain started
- Pain is constant and moderate to severe in intensity
- Pain lasts at least three months
The official NDPH guidelines state that you should remember precisely when your headache started. Because the pain is marked by a sudden and intense onset but never goes away, this is very common. It’s often easy for people to remember when NDPH started because about half of all sufferers have no history of headaches.
Next, your doctor will likely recommend tests to eliminate other potential causes of your headache. Your doctor will likely ask pointed questions, such as whether your headache intensity changes if you’re standing or lying down. They may perform a complete head and neck examination. Your doctor may also recommend an MRI and/or CT scans. In addition, your doctor may recommend bloodwork and even a spinal tap. Some doctors are concerned about conditions related to cerebrospinal fluid that can masquerade as NDPH.
Often, doctors forget to recommend tests for TMJ as part of the process. Doctors often don’t understand TMJ, its symptoms, and its relationship to headaches. If you’ve been diagnosed with NDPH but haven’t been tested for TMJ, you should see a Detroit TMJ dentist to get a TMJ evaluation.