Headache disorders are one of the most common disorders of the nervous system. Characterised by recurrent headaches, these can be painful and disabling to sufferers.1
Primary headache disorders may be due to migraine, tension-type headache or cluster headache. These are usually not due to an underlying disease or cause. Secondary headaches on the other hand occur due to the presence of a primary cause. Examples would be sinus infections, a concussion, dehydration, ear infections, high blood pressure and even medication-over use.2
A silent pandemic1,3
It doesn’t matter where you are from or who you are, headaches are experienced throughout the world regardless of age, gender, race or income levels.
According to the World Health Organization, in 2015 an estimated ½ of the world’s population between the ages of 18-65 had experienced a headache at least once. That’s 1 in 2 people! Of that, 30% (3 in 10 people) suffer from migraines.
More recently (2018), a survey done of 24,000 people in 24 countries across the world found that 92% had experienced some form of pain and 94% of these experienced general headache, 83% had tension-type headache and 79% suffered a migraine attack.
The bottom line is that headache is a common problem and it affects more people than we know.
Headaches impact all facets of our life
People who experience headaches not only suffer the physical pain but it also leads to a poorer quality of life and if severe or frequent, can exert a financial cost. Their family life, social life and employment may be affected especially when dealing with chronic headaches. 2
Suffering from headaches can also be a lonely experience for some. According to the latest Global Pain Index survey conducted in 2018, 4 in 10 people felt that their friends or close ones don’t really understand what it is like to experience chronic pain. Globally 55% of those surveyed didn’t talk about their pain experience because they felt it was something personal.3
Brody is a young executive working his way up the corporate ladder. With long workdays and tight deadlines, it’s not surprising he sometimes suffers from headaches. He’s seen his doctor about it and was glad to hear that these were nothing more serious than tension type headaches, though it impacts his life and work at times.
Brody needs something that works fast to relieve his headaches when he gets them. He also wants something gentle for his stomach, as regular meal times aren’t part of his lifestyle.
Understanding headaches and migraine
How do they present?
Find out the signs and symptoms of tension-type headache and migraine. Learn to differentiate them and learn about “red flag” symptoms that indicate a referral to a doctor.
What can you recommend to your patients for pain relief from their headaches?
Find out more about both non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments for tension-type headache and migraine.