Writing for the British publication, the Daily Mail, a neurology consultant says that many people suffer needlessly because they get the wrong diagnosis for their headaches. And, he says, many people also make the problem worse for themselves because they use too many over-the-counter medications to try to resolve pain.
“Majority of Referrals . . . Based on Misdiagnosis”
The doctor says that general practitioners, like family doctors, are very bad at identifying the types of headaches. He says that the majority of referrals that are sent to the hospital where he works are based on misdiagnosis. What kinds of misdiagnosis? First, some doctors are too quick to put the label “migraine” on any chronic or especially painful headache. Because migraines and tension headaches require different forms of treatment, it’s important to get the diagnosis right in the first place so people can get the appropriate treatment.
Ironically, he also notes that many people with migraines are also diagnosed with some other problem, such as a major neurological problem. Again, this prevents them from getting the appropriate medications that can really help them avoid their migraines.
He points out that this is partly a product of lack of training on headaches in medical school, a problem we share in the US.
Medication Overuse Headaches
Another problem this neurology consultant focuses on is the use of over-the-counter medications by consumers, which can lead to medication overuse headaches.
Medication overuse headaches occur when someone uses too much headache medication because they’re trying to avoid the doctor. Over time, our body and brain chemistry can be altered. As a result, our nonmedicated state comes to be painful. Unfortunately, this forces us to take more medications than is advisable, which can cause serious damage to our health, including bone health, muscle healing, and heart health. We recently received a strengthened warning about the potential role of ibuprofen in heart attacks.
A Different Approach with Drug-Free Treatments
If you are having difficulty getting good results with headache treatment from your doctor, it’s possible that the problem is misdiagnosis. A neuromuscular dentist takes a different approach to diagnosis your headaches and might very well be able to see something your doctor has missed. They have also extensively studied headaches and their causes.
And when it comes to treatment, TMJ treatment is often effective without a need for drugs, reducing the risk of serious side effects.