Headache is one of the most common neurological conditions. We have all had a headache at some point throughout our lives. More than 40% of the population suffer from a headache disorder at some point in their life.

Headaches are usually spontaneous and disappear easily with common treatments. Nevertheless, a percentage of the population have very regular, severe headaches with an extremely negative impact on their quality of life.

The most common is migraine or tension headache, but there are a number of different headaches associated with other symptoms. Consulting a neurologist is important to assess the pain and reach a correct diagnosis, especially when a headache does not resolve with the usual treatment. Dr Teresa Moreno, neurologist at HC Marbella explains headaches in more detail.

What causes headaches?

In the majority of cases, headaches are primary or idiopathic, meaning they have no known cause. A lower percentage of headaches may be caused by inflammatory processes in the brain, or by space-occupying lesions. Although these are the least common of all, it is important to rule them out as soon as possible to ensure effective treatment.

Fortunately, there is an increasing amount of research being performed and we continue to learn more about the changes in the brain that lead to headaches.

Types of headache

Headache is a symptom and a diagnosis can be made based on its clinical features. To reach a diagnosis, neurologists assess the type of pain, its intensity, the number of times the pain is experienced each month, the area of the head where the pain occurs, the duration of the pain, and whether it is accompanied by other symptoms. By analysis of the clinical details, we can generally rule out the presence of a lesion or inflammation being the cause of the pain. However, imaging tests, such as MRI or CT, can be requested to confirm that there are no brain lesions or inflammation. The most common diagnosis is migraine or tension headache.


Promising new treatments are now available for patients with headaches, these include monoclonal antibodies and botulinum toxin, also known as Botox. Although most people do not require these advanced therapies there are a small group of patients, generally young patients, who have a very poor quality of life as a result of constant headaches, these new treatments are changing their lives.

In the Headache Unit at HC Marbella we can help you to alleviate these annoying symptoms; if further investigate of your condition is required, we can also request imaging studies in OUR advanced Imaging Unit.

Author: Seb

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