Posted by: A3 | 2009/03/23

Feel like giving up

Dear expert
I' m a 28 year old female. I have been a headache sufferer for more than I can remember. I' ve been from doctor to doctor. I' ve seen a physiotherapist, chiropractor, dentist (I had a bite plate made) , you name it. I even went for a brain scan. But nothing was wrong. I went for injections in my neck as my neck is always stiff. I always seem tense and stressed, eventhough I dont know what I could be stressed about. Every morning, I wake up with a stiff neck (I have even bought a special pillow and chiropractic bed). The bed made me feel worse until I gave up on that idea. If I do not drink medication or pain tablets immedately, I do end up having a big ugly headache. I stopped smoking last year September and there is definately a difference when it comes to a headache/migraine. I still have my stiff neck. I was kind of diagnosed with gout a while back by my GP. And every month, when I reach my menstrual cycle, I do get a terrible migrain, either just before the cycle starts, or during, or even afterwards. And the migrain then stays either on the one side of my head/face/eyes or on the other for more than 3 days. I am then sensitive to every small noise, light or smell. Especially smoke. Not even strong medicine like Synap forte' s work. I honestly wish I could just wake up one morning and not feel any stifness, not feel pain. I do not sit wrong in front of my computer at work, I do not put strain on my neck and body when watching television or reading. I am trying to do everything right. There must be an explanation for this or some treatment.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear A3,

Please don’t give up – there is always a solution to this type of problem. One just has to keep looking until you find it. We see many patients just like you at The Headache Clinic, and are able to help the vast majority. 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.

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.

Our users say:
Posted by: Nicky | 2009/03/24

HI A3, I Hope this will help you, I was a headache sufferer for all my years that i can remember from docter to docter, drinking all diiferent kinds of painkilles, had migraines also a few times but this year i told my self im going to work on it and its helping. Go on the internet and see what food migraine sufferers must ignore, cheese, yoghart, red wine, etc (there is lots more) Please try and do it, Also STOP using painkilers it will be hard but get yourself panados. but try not to use alot, I know panados dont help but it will after a couple of weeks. What i do is when i get headache i feel is it little one or heavy one, If little i take panado, if heavey i take stronger painkiller. But that will help you, for days try to live with the headache and try not to use painkillers in the day. I used to drink every day and in the night as well, i would wake up about 2am then have a headache, i used to drink painkillers to prevent me from having the headache the morn, but now i just leave it and drink water whole night. It help. Sometimes times days go buy with no headache at all, i had a headache 17 days last, it feel like heaven, please try it because the docters couldnt even help me.

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