Posted by: DALENE | 2009/04/11

severe headaces

my husband is 51 years old, has high blood pressure, smokes at least 50 sigarettes a day and drinks +- 6 beers every day. he has been a smoker for 35 years. he was on norvasc 5mg x one a day plus ridaq one a day for a year. he is also using budeflam and astavent in the nebuliser since he has emphisemia.for the past 6-8 weeks he has suffered from such severe headaces that he doesnt sleep at night, he cries the whole night sitting upright. no pain tablet seems to work, we have tried numerous types. two nights ago while he was sitting and crying of pain i could see it was more severe than normally because he slammed with his fist on the bed while crying out. the next moment he just fell down blacked out, i shook him and only moments later he came by, totally confused and couldnt remember he had blacked out. he complain about his arm and fingers goiing numb and felt like needles and pins. what should we do. we dont have a medical aid. please help urgently
thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Dalene,

Anyone suffering from a changed or new headache 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 serious or life threatening underlying medical condition causing the headaches. Although this is uncommon, it is essential to exclude this possibility before doing anything else.

Once this has been done, 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 underlying causes of the headache. If these 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 many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, and 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 assessment must include examination to determine the presence of tension in the head and neck muscles.

With regard to you not having a medical aid, anyone who can afford 50 cigarettes and 6 beers a day should be able to afford the kind of medical treatment needed for the treatment of most headaches.

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 on 0861 678 911 (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban).

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: Natalie | 2009/04/21

I am a normally healthy adult female at age 32. I' ve had mild headaches since adulthood. The headaches have now become more severe in the last 4 weeks. I' ve started seeing a dentist approx 4 weeks ago &  wonder if this is increasing the severity of my headaches. The headaches are everywhere, it sometimes feel as if someone is putting pressure on my entire head and sometimes it is a quick &  sudden pain,especially along my sides.
At the age of 5/6 I fell off a very high swing directly on my back &  wonder if this is now causing problems after all these years?
I went to see my GP about a week ago. After a thorough exam, he made a diagnoses ... (neck tension ....). Sorry, I forgot the name! The top half of my back &  my neck is very very stiff, I surpose from tension.
He subscribed Norflex 3 x daily, another pain tablet once daily &  10mg Trepiline (spelling) at night for an entire month. The Norflex made me severely sick, after an hour of administering it my heart started beating so fast, my mouth became dry, my vision became blurry etc etc, it was not a nice feeling at all, I thought I was going to faint.
I went to my dr, who said I should not drink it anymore, but proceed with the other meds.
Will this meds be sufficient? I' m not very keen on drinking meds for an entire month, is their not another more natural treatment I can follow? Do you think I should have a 2nd opinion?
Your response would be highly appreciated.
Kind Regards, Natalie

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