Posted by: Anon | 2009-06-25

&#39 Cramp'  like headaches

Good morning,
For the last year or so I' ve been having this headaches that feels more than severe muscle cramps, it is only for a couple of seconds and about 3 in a row. This happens about twice a week. But lately the intensity has increased to a extend that it feels as if half of my face go numb. It is still for a couple of seconds, but it is much worse. I' ve been on the pill for 11 years and a month ago I' ve stopped since I was on a very strong one for the last couple of months and it messed up my skin. And I think that since them my ' head cramps'  is less / not better. DOn' t know if I should go see my doctor or see what happens in the next month or so?
THank you!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Anon,

People who suffer with headaches such as you have described must have a proper medical assessment, which should include a neurological examination. The reason for this is to make absolutely certain that there is not some serious or life threatening underlying medical condition causing the headaches. Although this is uncommon, it is essential to exclude this possibility before doing anything else.

Once this has been done, then the next part of the investigation is started. The correct way to deal with the problem is to have a proper diagnosis of the underlying causes of the headache. If these are treated, the headaches no longer occur, and it is no longer necessary to rely on potentially harmful “rescue” medication.

To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary” assessment. There are many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, and no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For this reason, the combined the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, are co-ordinated into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables a more comprehensive treatment plan, in which all the contributing factors are addressed. This assessment must include examination to determine the presence of tension in the head and neck muscles.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic on 0861 678 911 (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban).

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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