Posted by: H | 2010/12/16

Tension Headache

Hi. For the past 2 months or so I have been suffering from tension headaches several times a week. I have been to the chiropractor and he said it feels like i have the weight of the world on my shoulders. I get this neck ache and then my head aches, mainly at the back ( I also have sinus at the moment) I also seem to get ear ache. What can I do to prevent these? I had a session with the physiotherapist the other day and it helped a little, but it soon all starts up again. I use a heated pad and try neck relaxation exercises. If i take Rivotril for about 2 nights in a row it will help for a couple of days before starting up again. I also take Myprodol (but I hate taking tablets knowing they arent good for me) I can''t go on like this. What can you recommend. Do you think several sessions with the physio will sort this out once and for all? Any suggestions are appreciated at I''ve had enough now. Thank you so much.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear H,

To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. 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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