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Question
Posted by: Delene | 2010/08/23

&quot Burning"  headache

My 32 year old blind son has been suffering from headaches since pubertiy. We have seen many neurologists and all have different opinions as to the origin of the problem, What i notice is that when specialists question him on what the headache feels like, they always use descriptions of " trobbing"  or " sharp pain"  or " piercing" . My son keeps on explaining his headaches as a Burning feeling in the sides of the forehead. What can have a " burning sensation"  in the head? He had a MRI of the head and neck a well as Xrays, a week ago - normal results. My problem is the fact that painkillers do not eliviate this type of headache. He takes Trepiline now - but this has negative response on his bladder - bladder is lazy. All anti-epileptic meds have been tried - he only feels sleepy - no relief of headaches.
Your advice is deeply appreciated, as my son''s poor quality of life is really getting to him.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Delene,

If your son has been under the care of a neurologist and has not had relief from his pain, then the assumption must be that his pain is not of neurological origin. Most headaches originate in the structures on the outside of the skull, so this is where one has to concentrate one’s diagnostic efforts. To get to the root of the problem, your son needs what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”,because 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. The burning pain may be related to problems with either or both of these structures.

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: Headache expert | 2010/08/23

Dear Delene,

If your son has been under the care of a neurologist and has not had relief from his pain, then the assumption must be that his pain is not of neurological origin. Most headaches originate in the structures on the outside of the skull, so this is where one has to concentrate one’s diagnostic efforts. To get to the root of the problem, your son needs what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”,because 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. The burning pain may be related to problems with either or both of these structures.

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.

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