A headache is a pain or discomfort that is perceived to be in the head, although sometimes the pain may actually be referred from other structures such as the neck or jaw. Life-threatening causes of headache, although rare, must be considered as more expedient treatment can be life saving. Experienced clinicians should be able to determine the underlying cause for headache with appropriate time taken to acquire an adequate history, as well as conduct a careful physical evaluation and, as necessary, order appropriate diagnostic testing. Once the appropriate diagnosis is made, treatment should be instituted in a holistic fashion with a sensitivity to maximizing the benefit/risk ratio of any particular intervention, prescribing treatment that can be optimally complied with and educating the patient and family regarding the condition, its treatment, and prognosis.
Headaches have been categorized using various systems. The two most...
References and Readings
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- National Headache Foundation. http://www.headaches.org. Accessed 25 May 2016.
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