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Question
Posted by: dmom | 2010-12-01

headache and upper spine

Hi
since lastnight i started getting severe headaches and pain in my upper spine / neck. Background: I am on a contraceptive: melodene - been of meledene for the past 6 months but back onto it for the past two weeks. couldd the melodene have anything to do with my headaches as i was also getting headaches at least one a month when i was on melodene 6 months ago. while off the melodene had no headaches. severe headache and upper spine is soooo sore.
please advise.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Dmom,

Hormone changes can certainly trigger headaches, and if your headaches are related to your use of melodene, then we must assume that it is triggering them. But you must remember that it is just a trigger – your body is reacting to the melodene because there is an underlying problem that has not been identified. If that problem is treated, then the melodene will no longer trigger headaches.

If your headache is coupled with pain in the upper spine, then the problem is most likely of muscular origin – but although this is the most likely problem, with headaches one cannot be certain without a proper diagnosis, as other structures may be involved. To get to the root of the problem, you need 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/

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 (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

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: Headache expert | 2010-12-01

Dear Dmom,

Hormone changes can certainly trigger headaches, and if your headaches are related to your use of melodene, then we must assume that it is triggering them. But you must remember that it is just a trigger – your body is reacting to the melodene because there is an underlying problem that has not been identified. If that problem is treated, then the melodene will no longer trigger headaches.

If your headache is coupled with pain in the upper spine, then the problem is most likely of muscular origin – but although this is the most likely problem, with headaches one cannot be certain without a proper diagnosis, as other structures may be involved. To get to the root of the problem, you need 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/

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 (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

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