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Question
Posted by: Estelle | 2010/02/17

Migraines - vascular headaches

My 14 year old daughter suffers from vascular headaches. She can hardly lift her head, she said it feels so heavy. She is currently in alot of pain and I feel helpless. She' s been out of school for 3 days now. Had her the doctor gave some tabs must go back on Tuesday. Previously she had these headaches and passed out twice. Headaches came back after two yeard last June and then it started again last year.She had two brainscans done one in 2007 and again in 2009. They discovered her pineal gland is enlarged by 12mm. The doctor feels at this point its not causing any pressure on the brain and diagnosed her with severe migraines. She is really suffering and losing out on schoolwork. What should I do? This morning she couldnt even lift up her head to drink the tablet.I feel helpless and very worried. Please help.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Estelle,

Fortunately headaches almost never originate from the brain – most headaches, including migraine originate in the structures situated superficially on the outside of the skull. Although there are many structures that can contribute, such as wisdom teeth, sinuses, etc., the main culprits are the muscles of the head ans neck, and the arteries in the scalp – the terminal branches of the external carotid artery. To get to the root of the problem, your daughter 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/

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.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: vasantha | 2010/02/22

I have be getting the zig zag lines, lasts for a while, then go away, unlike when I used to get migrane headaches.

please help

Reply to vasantha
Posted by: Headache expert | 2010/02/17

Dear Estelle,

Fortunately headaches almost never originate from the brain – most headaches, including migraine originate in the structures situated superficially on the outside of the skull. Although there are many structures that can contribute, such as wisdom teeth, sinuses, etc., the main culprits are the muscles of the head ans neck, and the arteries in the scalp – the terminal branches of the external carotid artery. To get to the root of the problem, your daughter 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/

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.

Reply to Headache expert

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