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HEADACHES More than a pain in the neck

HEADACHES More than a pain in the neck
September 04
19:34 2017

Headache is one of the commonest symptoms experienced by humans.

In fact it is quite unusual not to have at least an occasional headache.

Why some people never experience head­aches is not known. Most of us have experi­enced them at some point in our lives.

Then there are those who suffer headaches on a daily basis and crippled by the constant pain to the point that they may be house­bound.

One person described it as “my headache feels like two people are pressing really hard on two different cookie cutters, fighting for the same piece of dough”

Another migraine sufferer described it as “like you are trying to give birth through your forehead.”

Headaches can be stress related, diet relat­ed or hangover related. Whatever the cause, headaches are a pain and not only in the neck.

In fact an interesting quote which most women can relate to “A headache is just a thought running through your brain wearing stilettos”.

Headache is pain in any region of the head.

Headaches may occur on one or both sides of the head, be isolated to a certain location, ra­diate across the head from one point, or have a viselike quality.

A headache may appear as a sharp pain, a throbbing sensation or a dull ache. Headaches can develop gradually or suddenly, and may last from less than an hour to several days.

A headache is a pain sensed in the nerves and muscles of the head and neck as well as the meninges (membranes covering the brain and spinal cord).

Your brain itself cannot sense pain, so a headache has nothing to do with your brain hurting.

It is really a pain somewhere around your brain, being picked up by nerve endings lo­cated in your head.

Headache disorders are the most common disorders of the nervous system.

It has been estimated that almost half of the adult population have had a headache once within the last year.

Headache on 15 or more days every month affects 1.7 to four per cent of the world’s adult population.

Despite regional variations, headache disor­ders are a worldwide problem, affecting peo­ple of all ages, races, income levels and geo­graphical areas.

Headache disorders, which are character­ised by recurrent headaches, are associated with personal and societal burden of pain, disability, damaged quality of life and finan­cial cost.

In the Global Burden of Disease Study, up­dated in 2013, migraine on its own was found to be the sixth highest cause worldwide of years lost because of disability.

Headache disorders collectively were third highest. The long-term effort of coping with a chronic headache disorder may also predis­pose the individual to other issues.

For example, depression and anxiety are more common in people with migraine than in the healthy individuals.

Worldwide, a minority of people with head­ache disorders are diagnosed appropriately by a health-care provider.

Headaches have been underestimated, under recognised and under-treated throughout the world. (World Health Organisation)

Type of headaches

Headaches are broadly classified as primary or secondary.

Primary headaches are benign, recurrent headaches not caused by underlying disease or structural problems.

While primary headaches may cause sig­nificant daily pain and disability they are not dangerous. Migraine is an example of a pri­mary headache.

Secondary headaches are caused by an un­derlying disease such as infection, head in­jury, bleeding in the brain, tumours and vas­cular disorders. Secondary headaches can be harmless or dangerous.

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