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Posts to Ask Dr Stoll BB regarding Headaches

There have been a few posts to the Ask Dr Stoll
Bulletin Board (BB) regarding Headache/Migraine.
Many of them have been archived here. The archive is roughly
chronological. I hope you find it useful.

Summary discussion about headaches:

There are basically only 2 kinds of headaches: vascular and muscular tension headaches. These types make up at least 99.5% of all headaches. The rest are tumors, and surgically correctable conditions. That means that you have less than one chance in 200 that your chronic headaches are not permanently resolvable by dealing with the causes.

For immediate relief of the pain of vascular headaches (NOT a cure) the article on the homepage will do nicely. Of course one needs to know how to tell the difference between vascular and muscular since this approach will not work for muscular headaches. One helpful way is to pay close attention to whether the pain is throbbing (you should be able to count your heartbeats with any vascular headache). Another way is to do the hot arms thing and if it doesn't work the likelyhood is that the headache is not vascular.

There is one small problem with this because, once one has had either kind of headache for years, they tend to have both muscular and vascular components of some of their headaches.

Since both of these chronic headaches are basically due to stored stress-effect in the hypothalamus, practicing skilled relaxation (see the glossary and homepage articles) is basic to a permanent cure in the long run. Otherwise, the mechanisms for curing them in less than 6-12 months are VERY different.

FIRST, the above in only true IF you have had your headache evaluated by a conventional evaluation. More than 99.9% of headaches are not caused by brain tumors or other serious and conventionally treatable conditions. However, once THEY have been ruled out, the information on this BB is the only reasonable resolution.

To determine the exact mechanisms of your headaches you would best go to the bulletin board and describe them so I can work with the data.

Walt Stoll, MD

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