Headache

20 July 2004

How does a doctor find out if something more serious is wrong?

A careful physical examination is done to check for clues to possible headache causes and also to check the nervous system. Those with tension-type, migraine or cluster headaches will usually have a normal physical test. The doctor will ask detailed questions regarding the patient's headache history. A CT (computed tomography) imaging test can be done, as well as a MRI ( magnetic resonance imaging tes and lastly a magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) imaging test. These will show up any tumour or other abnormality in the brain.

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A careful physical examination is done to check for clues to possible headache causes and also to check the nervous system. Those with tension-type, migraine or cluster headaches will usually have a normal physical test. The doctor will ask detailed questions regarding the patient's headache history.

A CT (computed tomography) imaging test can be done, as well as a MRI ( magnetic resonance imaging tes and lastly a magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) imaging test. These will show up any tumour or other abnormality in the brain.

 

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Ask the Expert

Headache expert

Dr Elliot Shevel - Founder and Medical Director - The Headache Clinic, (Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town) South Africa. The Headache Clinic is a multidisciplinary practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of Primary Headaches and Migraines. Dr Shevel is also the main author of all scientific publications generated by his team. Tertiary Education - Dr Shevel holds both Dental and Medical degrees, and practises as a specialist Maxillo-facial and Oral Surgeon.

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