Some headaches cut like a knife. Others feel like your skull's in a vice. some are triggered by strong smells - but others are caused by headache pills!
There's that age-old fear with headaches - it's probably nothing, you tell yourself, but you walk into the doctor's surgery convinced that it's actually a brain tumour.
In fact, according to the Migraine Action Association, fewer than five per cent of people who consult their GP about a headache have something seriously wrong with them. Around 40 per cent of Britons suffer from headaches at some point to the extent that it affects their quality of life.
It is also one of the most common complaints seen by GPs and in neurological clinics. Headaches cost the UK about £3 billion per year, through days off work and costs to the NHS. But despite these statistics, experts say that headache disorders are both under-diagnosed and under-treated in the UK.
"There is a lack of knowledge of the different headache types among some healthcare professionals," says Dr Anne MacGregor, director of clinical research at the City of London Migraine Clinic and treasurer of the International Headache Society. "Drugs commonly prescribed for one headache disorder may be completely ineffectual for another. They all need very specialised treatments. Equally, many people simply fail to go to the doctor, feeling it's something they can cope with on their own by simply popping a couple of pills. In fact, with the right treatment they might cope even better."
So what treatments work best for which headaches, and how can you distinguish between a simple headache and something more sinister? Here, with the help of Dr MacGregor and Dr Fayyaz Ahmed, consultant neurologist at Hull Royal Infirmary and General Secretary of the British Association for the Study of Headache, we offer a guide to the most common headaches and the best treatments...
Source - Daily Mail