Posted by: Natalie | 2009/04/21

Severe Headaches

I am a normally healthy adult female at age 32. I'  ve had mild headaches since adulthood (almost daily). 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 (scars still visible on my back bone " ruggraat" ) &  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 full of 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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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Natalie,

It is highly unlikely that your childhood injury is causing your problem.

I agree that taking medication is not the best route, but to determine what the best non-drug treatment is necessary, you have to have a more in-depth diagnosis. 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.

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