Our expert says:
There is a sequence of steps to be taken for anyone suffering from chronic (ongoing) headaches. The first step is that the patient must have a proper medical assessment, which should include a neurological examination. The reason for this is to make absolutely certain that there is not some underlying medical condition causing the headaches. Although this is uncommon, it is essential to exclude this possibility before doing anything else. As you have a family history of brain cancer, you will naturally be more concerned than other people, but it is a most uncommon cause of the kind of headaches you describe. You will only need to go for a scan if the neurologist decides it is necessary.
If the patient gets a clean bill of health, then the next part of the investigation is started. 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, like the Disprins you are taking. To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary” approach. 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 this reason, the combined the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, are co-ordinated into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables a more comprehensive treatment plan, in which all the contributing factors are addressed.
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 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
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