Headaches

Persistent headache symptoms are being ignored

Headaches are very common complaints amongst civilised man, approximately affecting two thirds of the population. Although there have been various attempts to classify typical headaches into various groups according to symptoms (see below). Persistent headache symptoms are still being ignored according to a parliamentary report despite the fact it may be an indicator of a brain tumour. 

Persistent headaches

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What are the signs? 

It is important to consider that headache symptoms may often be signs of other underlying pathological conditions which may not necessarily be associated to a brain tumour. However according to reports Dr Robert Martuza (a Harvard professor in neuroscience) suggests that an increased dull ache symptom unlike any other headache you have experienced before may be an indicator of a brain tumour due to the increased pressure in the head. 

 

New research 

The parliamentary report suggests that more research and funding is urgently required to improve prognosis by helping to save lives as sufferers and their families are continually being let down. According to Brain Tumour Research to date, very little is spent from the national cancer research expenditure on brain research. Therefore research studies are seriously underfunded towards helping improve patient outcomes and quality of lives to those that suffer from brain tumours. 

 

Headache Descriptions (in brief) 

 

Common Headaches: 

Vascular Headache - e.g. migraine or cluster headache

 

Cervical (Cervicogenic) Headache - e.g. referred pain arising from the neck region such as the joints, muscles and fascia

 

Tension type Headache - e.g. commonly referred to as a muscle contraction headache - influences of stress 

 

Headaches associated to viral infection - e.g. sinusitis, respiratory infection

 

Less Common Headaches:

 Headaches associated or caused by - post trauma, psychogenic - emotions, drugs, post spinal surgery  to name a few

 

Headaches influenced by intracranial causes - e.g. tumour, haemorrhage, meningitis or subdural hematoma

 

Headaches associated to exercise - e.g. benign exertion headache (footballers migraine) 

 

Useful links 

Brain Tumour Research https://www.braintumourresearch.org/

Cancer Research UK http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/

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References

  1. International Headache Society Headache Classification Committee. Classification of headache disorders 3rd edition Cephalalgia (2013) 33(9) 629 808 

  2. Jull G, Moore A, Falla D, Lewis J. McCarthy C. Sterling M. Elsevier (2015) Grieve's Modern Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy 4th Edition isbn 978-0702051524

  3. McCrory P, Heywood J, Coffey C, Prevalence of headache in Australian footballers Br J Sports Med (2005) 39 552-4 

  4. Mathews, W.B. Footballer's Migraine (1972) 2 326-327

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