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Question
Posted by: wondering | 2011/05/23

can sleeping pills make a headache worse?

my mom drinks sleeping pills because her headaches that she has constantly is so bad. can the pills worsen the headaches?

she has been having these headaches for more than 30 years. It is getting too much now, thinking of going for a neck operation

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Wondering,

Usually the pain killers that people use for headaches are what makes the pain worse, and there is a vicious circle of more pain and more pills etc. It is no use going for a neck operation unless the doctors are absolutely certain that the neck is the cause of the trouble. To get to the root of the problem, your mother needs what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

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 http://www.headacheclinic.co.za/

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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Our users say:
Posted by: wondering | 2011/05/25

thank you very much for contacting my mom last night. it really meant a lot to her!

Reply to wondering
Posted by: wondering | 2011/05/24

hi there, it was years ago.

froukje welgens is her details. thank you for your reply!

Reply to wondering
Posted by: Dr Shevel | 2011/05/23

If she has been to The Headache Clinic and was not helped, then there has to be a reason. Can you possibly send me her details so that I can look up her file and see what was done.

Reply to Dr Shevel
Posted by: wondering | 2011/05/23

thank you very much for your thorough reply. she has been to the headache clinic who could not assist her as well.

Reply to wondering
Posted by: Headache expert | 2011/05/23

Dear Wondering,

Usually the pain killers that people use for headaches are what makes the pain worse, and there is a vicious circle of more pain and more pills etc. It is no use going for a neck operation unless the doctors are absolutely certain that the neck is the cause of the trouble. To get to the root of the problem, your mother needs what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

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 http://www.headacheclinic.co.za/

Reply to Headache expert

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