Headache is one of the commonest problems for which patients seek medical attention. A neurologist is trained to diagnose and treat headaches.


Almost everyone has had a headache. The causes can range from the simple – such as a hangover, or the pain from eating icecream – to the sinister – such as a tumor or burst blood vessel in the brain. The most common types of headache are migraine and tension type headache. These headaches are not serious, but can cause significant disability. It is often said that migraine is the commonest cause of people missing work because of sickness.


Some headaches are medical emergencies, and require prompt evaluation by your doctor or in the nearest emergency department. This includes a sudden onset of severe head pain, or a new headache associated with visual changes, weakness or slurred speech, or fever.


Most headaches are benign and recurrent. Often certain things will trigger the headache: perhaps stress, tiredness, alcohol or even sexual intercourse. It may require detailed questioning by your GP or neurologist to determine the exact type of headache you experience, so it is best to take note of the nature of your headache, and be prepared for the questions that may be asked.