Headaches: The throbbing pain
The symptoms started suddenly and rapidly – but first came the nausea. Then, Chantel Oliver (Crt) couldn’t lift her head up from the searing pain.
“I remember it was February and I was down for a whole week… I had never experienced anything like it before. I was on every kind of pain tablet, nothing helped,” the 36 year-old said.
That was six years ago – when Oliver began her arduous journey with severe headaches caused by muscle tension and her scalp arteries.
“I had initially thought my blood pressure may have gone up, because I was hypertensive. But, when I went to the doctor, he found that it was normal. The doctor said the headache could be stress related – but I wasn’t really under stress at that time”, she continued.
Renowned South African maxillo-facial and oral surgeon, Dr Elliot Shevel (crt), explained that headaches were an “exceedingly common problem” with a serious impact on overall health status, quality of life, and disability.
“Tension headache is the most common, affecting up to 40% of the population. Migraine is the second most common type, with about 12% of the population being affected. The third important type is Cluster Headache, which is present in up to 1% of the population”, he said.
While the cluster headache was far less common than migraine or tension headache, Shevel said it was important because it is by far the most painful – it is so painful that it is also known as “Suicide Headache”.
“The main difference between the different types of headache is the severity of the pain, with a migraine being more painful than the tension headache and cluster being more painful than migraine,” Shevel continued.
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