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06 Sep 2011

Extreme migraines daily
Good day
I am struggling with constant (atleast once daily) migraines. Drs tried everything –  treating the pain and not the cause. The migraine starts in my left side of my neck with moderate pain, then works up to my left temple with increased pain and the vein swelling.It then moves into my left eye with extreme pain and end up in my left side top jaw with unbearable pain.I also recently discovered that if I lay on my back I can put my head on the pillow to the left, but are unable to do the same to the right (as if my muscles in my neck on left side are to short). What can I do to stop this migraine?

Thanks in advance,

Answer 447 views
Headache expert
Headache Expert

01 Jan 0001

Dear DDT,
You are quite correct – treating the pain without trying to find the cause is not going to help you. Your problem sounds like a mixture of muscle pain and blood vessel pain, but one can only be sure once there has been a proper examination. 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 examination, 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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