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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    If I get severe headaches should I have a brain scan?

    I get a very bad headache or a migraine at least 5 times per month. Do I need to get a brainscan or is this normal? Do brainscans use radiation?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Dr Michael Cohen, Chiropractor is co-founder of the Chirosports Group one of Australia's leading groups of Chiropractors working together since 1994. Dr Michael Cohen Chiropractor … View Profile

    I think the first concern you would like addressed is the question is it normal to experience this frequency of headache and migraine and the short answer is no, this is not normal.  When you experience this type of reoccuring pain, your body is sending you a message to let you know that something needs attention.

    There may be a number of causes that may or may not explain your symptoms and seeking professional advice would be the most effective first step.  If you chose to see a Chiropractor the initial course of examination would likely include a thorough health and case history and an examination of your spine, neck, cranial area, posture, and stance.  X-Rays may be suggested.  I have a digital X-Ray facility at my Chirosports clinic in Sydney, and we complete X-Rays if required at the time of consultation for the ease and convenience of our clients.  This equipment does use a very small amount of radiation however significantly less than film X-Ray facilities.   In some cases an MRI may be needed.

    Headache and migraine are something that a Chiropractor will commonly treat and there may be indications of typical likely causes that we are able to address including assisting with joint mobility to allow nerve flow to work effectively.   In my 20 years of practice I have taken a special interest in treating the symptoms of headache and migraine and am aware of how debilitating these conditions can be. There are circumstances where the symptoms may not settle as effectively as we would like and in this case I alway refer to other medical colleagues and professionals for opnion and further care. 

  • Helen Potter


    As a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, with extensive experience and highly advanced qualifications, as well as excellent communication skills, I can help you to: Become informed … View Profile


    Five headaches a month is not reasonable but does not mean something drastic is wrong.

    Yes it is time for you to seek help to sort them out. You will get more assistance from consulting a doctor or health professional if you are able to describe your headaches - when they start, what they feel like, where they seem to be centered, what self treatments work or don't work, and  anything you know will trigger a headache.

    So think about them a little and maybe keep a diary for a month to see if you can find a pattern.

    If you often find you wake with a headache it might be your seleeping position or poor qulaity sleep or even how you had held your neck when you were watching TV. If sport or too much sitting at work or being stressed means you end up with a headache then maybe you can help yourself with lifestyle changes.

    Best to sort it out sooner rather then put up with headaches for ever.
    Best wishes
    Helen Potter Specialist Physiotherapist Subiaco

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