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13 Jul 2011

Please someone help!
Dear doctor,

I am at my wits'' end! Please can you tell me if there are any studies running in migraines? I had my first one when I was 8. I have been trying to live with this, but I can''t. Today, I am once again experiencing muscle tension, coupled with a sensitivity to noise. My head is pounding. This is not new. This is part of my daily life.

I only have a hospital plan and don''t really have spare cash to pay for x-rays, scans etc. I feel as if I can''t go on any more. The pain is driving me mad!

Please help me?
Answer 400 views
Headache expert
Headache expert

01 Jan 0001

Dear So Tired,

There is most certainly something that can be done, but the problem must first be diagnosed properly. 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.

Unfortunately your hospital plan does not cover this diagnostic procedure, but it is the only way to reach a proper diagnosis.

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.