Health

Headaches: why specialists say they are much more than a headache and should be treated

There are 150 types of headaches, although specialists categorize them between primary and secondary
There are 150 types of headaches, although specialists categorize them between primary and secondary

Feel headache It is common among humans. Exposure to screensthe stress or one flu can cause such discomfort. However, there are those who suffer from this symptom steadily and, in these cases, medicine and science pay special attention. In this framework, it is essential to delve into the concept of headachewhich includes any type of annoyance located in the head.

Although there are about 150 types of headaches, they can be divided into two main categories: primaries and the high schools. The former are manifested in most cases and have criteria specific; while the latter are given as consequence of other diseases They affect not only the head. Within these classifications can be migraine, According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), is the eighth most disabling disease of humanity: it affects 1 in 7 people older than 35 years old with severe throbbing pain (throbbing sensation).

In the same sense, the pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 put on the table a problem no less important, related to the tables of persistent COVID or Long COVID. It is that an investigation carried out in 2022 by the Headache Study Group of the Spanish Society of Neurology found that the twenty% of the patients who suffered from headache in the acute phase of the infection developed a chronic headache which remained until two months after the onset of symptoms. Secondly, the Spanish specialists indicated that if this pain persists for thirty days, there is a fifty% of probabilities that he will do it for nine months plus.

Cristina Tassorelli is the president of the International Headache Society and led the event held in Argentina (Fleni/International Headache Society)
Cristina Tassorelli is the president of the International Headache Society and led the event held in Argentina (Fleni/International Headache Society)

The International Headache Society (IHSfor its acronym in English) held in Argentina between September 29 and October 1 the First Regional Conference on Headache at the Torcuato Di Tella University. This event seeks to address different current issues on headaches, including the so-called refractory chronic, manifested by stabbing pains spread to the neck or face that may be accompanied by lightheadedness, dizziness, and sensitivity to light. A singularity of this condition is that successful results are not usually obtained when using conventional medications to overcome it.

During the event in question, Infobae spoke with the Italian doctor and neurologist Cristina Tassorellipresident of the IHS, and with Maria Theresa Goicocheahead of the Headache Clinic of the Fleni Foundation.

The doctor Goicochea He gave guidance on how to act in the event of this discomfort that implies “all that pain that is located in the skull and that takes into account the head, face and structures”. The neurologist specified that “we can identify her by describing her, initially, to our primary care physician, explaining what is happening and what her symptoms are. This will be able to direct the patient to a neurology consultation or, if there are any doubts, to a headache specialist”.

Headache is one of the most frequent reasons for professional consultation (Getty)
Headache is one of the most frequent reasons for professional consultation (Getty)

“In Argentina, luckily, we have very good clinicians, neurologists, and those of us who work in the area of ​​headaches. Today, I consider it crucial educate and inform both the population and the medical field about the importance of correct diagnosis and treatment of headache, especially migraine, since it is one of the most frequent and disabling”, he highlighted. “The important thing is that the patient should not normalize living with headaches or accept that they are ‘normal,'” she said.

For her part, Dr. Tassorelli explained, in dialogue with Infobae the transcendence for the life of the patients that it means to suffer from migraine. Is about “more than a headache means it’s a serious neurological disease that can disrupt people’s lives who suffer from it. It is a very large burden with a high impact on different aspects of people’s lives. It is very different from a simple headache that appears, for example, in association with a cold. In that case, it’s just a symptom and that symptom will go away when the cold goes away. Conversely, people who suffer from migraines may experience them for years, decades and in some cases, for life.

That migraine is more than a headache is a “consensus for International Headache Society,” he said. “We want to migraines are recognized as a serious disease because there are still too many patients without the correct diagnosis and many patients are not treated properly. So this is very important: knowing about migraines, diagnosing them and treating them correctly”.

María Teresa Goicochea is an important director of the Fleni Foundation and was one of the moderators of the event held by the International Headache Society (Fleni/International Headache Society)
María Teresa Goicochea is an important director of the Fleni Foundation and was one of the moderators of the event held by the International Headache Society (Fleni/International Headache Society)

Tassorelli warned regarding refractory migraines that specialists “do not have precise epidemiological figures on the number of patients in the general population, but we know that these patients represent a good part of the patients who seek help in medical centers specialized in headaches”, said. “We thought that patients who did not respond to other treatments could respond to new preventive treatments for migraine, this is true for a large proportion of patients, but there are still other that do not respond to the new specific antimigraine treatment”.

Regarding treatments, he highlighted the importance of expanding the options to offer patients and these “could be the neuromodulation, they can be one combination of treatments They can also be specific diets such as ketogenic diets”he detailed.

Migraine sufferers who have contracted COVID-19 in many cases “may have an increase or aggravation of their illness.” This situation, as well as headaches in the context of prolonged COVID “have been the subject of many studies, but there is no clarity about it, because part of the headache is due to temperature, but temperature does not explain the whole picture. So there are epidemiological studies that have been published and others that are still being carried out. I believe that uncover the mechanism by which the virus is making the headache worse or is causing a headache It will provide a lot of information about the pathophysiology of pain in a crucial area”, he considered.

Associated with the coronavirus health crisis, he said that “there are reports that show” that tension-type headaches “have grown very large due to the pandemic” and have also grown “in younger people due to the use of too many screens.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“Tension headache is a very common type of first headache, usually manifesting in one episode or ‘attack’ per month but, at other times, it can cause limitations in the person when carrying out their life normal since It is a chronic type of tension headache. In this case, even though the tension headache is not associated with nausea, vomiting or intense fears such as phonophobia (intolerance to noise) or photophobia (intolerance to light), it can be extremely disabling for the person, “he added. .

“Definitely, it is something to which we must pay attention and we must study since, although we know the “tip of the iceberg” there is much that we do not know and we must do, being areas of great interest for the IHS, he concluded.

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