Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The cause of headaches can be difficult to determine. The doctor will question you about your headaches and do a physical exam.

Your doctor may perform imaging tests to help determine the cause of your headache, including:

  • CT scan. CT scans use a computer to create cross-sectional images of your brain and head (including your sinuses) by combining images from an X-ray unit that rotates around your body.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With MRIs, a magnetic field and radio waves are used to create cross-sectional images of the structures within your brain.
March 18, 2015