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Question
Posted by: D | 2006/10/31

EVERYDAY HEADACHES

I HAVE BEEN GETTING HEADACHES FROM ABOUT 9YEARS. I'VE BEEN TO A NEUROLOGIST, BUT THEY HAVE FOUND NO FAULTS. I AM 26 YEARS AND TAKE ADCODOL EVERYDAY. THE TABS DO NOT HELP. I GET ULCERS THEREFORE UNABLE TO TAKE GRANPA ETC. I HAVE BEEN TO A CHIROPRACTOR AS WELL, BUT HE WAS NO HELP. MY FIANCE SAYS THAT I AM IMMUNE TO ADCODOL. IS THIS MAKING IT WORSE? I TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM FOODS THAT WILL CAUSE THEM, BUT WITHOUT FAIL EVERY MORNING I GET UP WITH ONE AND GO TO BED WITH IT. CUD THERE BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME? WILL IT HELP IF I GO COLD TURKEY FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS? I HAVE TRIED HOME REMEDIES, DOCTORS BUT STILL CANT GET RELIEF. I SMOKE AND IS FAIRLY STRESSED AT WORK.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear D,

Firstly, the fact that the neurologist found no faults simply means that there is no NEUROLOGICAL problem. The vast majority of headache sufferers do not have neurological problems. This doesn’t mean though that the cause/s can’ be found and treated.

With regard to Adco-dol and similar medications, the worst thing one can do is to take them regularly for headaches. One of the main problems with taking painkillers for headaches is that it often leads to Medication Overuse Headache (MOH). MOH is a problem that occurs in headache sufferers who have to take painkillers on a regular basis - the headaches become more frequent and more severe! Because of this, the patient increases the dosage and takes the drugs more often, and a vicious circle is set up, making the headaches worse and worse. This can happen with any of the painkillers, but is far more likely to occur when the medication contains more than one drug, and especially if it contains caffeine or codeine. When the three are combined in one pill, there is an even greater likelihood of MOH developing. Adco-dol contains all three!! And remember - MOH can also occur with prescription headache medication.

The answer therefore is not to rely on medication or painkillers! The correct way to deal with the problem is to have a proper diagnosis of the causes of the headache. If the causes are treated, the headaches no longer occur, and it is no longer necessary to rely on potentially harmful “rescue” medication.

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 assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

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: Nonny | 2006/11/07

I use to have headaches at least for the week without stopping . it keep on reoccuring at least in 3 weeks interval.Please help

Reply to Nonny

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