Posted by: Jade Lee | 2009/03/17

can' t cope

Two years ago I started having severe headaches. It started one day and didn' t leave me for 6 months. I woke up with them, had them all day, and fell asleep with them. I battled to have a conversation with people because my head hurt so much. I spent four days in hospital, had a scan done, spent weeks and months at the physio and chiro... just trying to find an answer. No one could help me and no one knew what triggered it or how to treat it properly. Then they stopped and I have only had random " attacks"  but nothing that lasted as long.

7 weeks ago they started again, so severe that i can' t focus, I can' t string a sentence together properly... forgetting words and losing focus. I have all the symptoms of Migraines... the nausea, noise and light sensitive. And recently a bit of blurred vision. I also have an extremely sore neck, from tension (I have a stressful job and work in front of the computer all day).

I exercise regularly (4 times a week), I' m a vegetarian and eat healthy every day. I' m 35 years old.

Do i need to go see a Neurologist again. I did all this two years ago and feel stupid going back again for the same thing, when I was told nothing was wrong.

I don' t know which way to turn anymore... I feel crippled by the pain and frustrated that I can' t find a solution.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Jade Lee,

If there was no neurological problem, then going back to the neurologist is a waste of time. The vast majority of headaches and migraines are caused by problems in the structures outside the skull, not inside, and with the correct evaluation, it is possible in most patients to identify what is causing the pain. To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”. 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.

You are welcome to call me on my cell any day after 4pm, if you would like further advice - 0825555763.

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 (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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