Approach to headache

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Approach to headache

  1. 1. Approach to Headache Dr. Faisal Al Hadad Consultant of Family Medicine & Occupational Health PSMMC
  2. 2. Introduction  Headache is defined as diffuse pain in various parts of the head, with the pain not confined to the area of distribution of a nerve.  Headache is among the most common pain problems encountered in family practice.
  3. 3. Classification 1. Primary headaches (benign, recurrent, no organic disease):  Migraine  Tension-type headache and  Cluster headache 2. Secondary headaches are caused by underlying organic diseases.
  4. 4. Acute Secondary Headache Disorders 1. Headache associated with head trauma 2. Headache associated with vascular disorders  SAH  Acute ischemic cerebrovascular disorder  Unruptured vascular malformation  Arteritis (e.g. temporal arteritis)  Arterial HTN 3. Headache associated with nonvascular intracranial disorder  Benign intracranial HTN (pseudotumor cerebri)  Intracranial infection  Low CSF pressure (e.g., headache subsequent to LP)
  5. 5. ;Contd 4. Headache associated with substance use or withdrawal 5. Headache associated with noncephalic infection (viral infection, bacterial infection) 6. Headache associated with metabolic disorder (hypoxia, hypercapnia, hypoglycemia, dialysis) 7. Headache or facial pain associated with disorder of cranium, neck, eyes, ears, nose, sinuses, teeth or mouth 8. Cranial neuralgias pain
  6. 6. History FIRST OR WORST HEADACHE  Primary headaches can occur at any age but most often begin during childhood or between 20 and 50 years of age.  Onset of headache after 50 years of age is a red flag for consideration of a secondary headache disorder such as temporal arteritis or a mass lesion.  If the patient routinely has headaches, it is important to determine whether the current episode is typical. Is this headache like the ones you usually have?
  7. 7. History SYMPTOMS ? What symptoms do you have before the headache starts ? What symptoms do you have during the headache ?What symptoms do you have right now  Primary headache disorder such as cluster headache (ipsilateral lacrimation and/or nasal congestion) or migraine with aura (e.g., scotomata, photophobia, phonophobia, nausea).  Secondary headache disorder (stiff neck, disorientation, rash, fever, eye pain, diplopia, unilateral paresthesias, unilateral weakness, balance change).
  8. 8. History ONSET ?Whether start gradually or suddenly : Headache of sudden and severe onset can be due to  SAH  Vascular malformations  Acute ischemic CVA  Posterior fossa mass lesions.
  9. 9. History LOCATION AND RADIATION OF PAIN  Cluster headaches are strictly unilateral.  Tension-type headaches are usually band-like and bilateral.  Migraines generally begin unilaterally but may progress to involve the entire head.  Pain along the distribution of the temporal artery may suggest temporal arteritis, and pain along the distribution of the trigeminal nerve may be a sign of trigeminal neuralgia  Eye pain may suggest acute glaucoma.
  10. 10. History SEVERITY AND QUALITY OF PAIN  Tension-type headache: Mild or moderate, pressing or tightening pain.  Cluster headache : Severe, stabbing pain  Migraine headache: Moderate or severe, pulsating, throbbing or dull aching pain.
  11. 11. History CONCURRENT MEDICAL CONDITIONS       Meningitis CNS lymphoma Toxoplasmosis Metastases Intracranial vascular disorder Acute viral syndrome or acute bacterial infection
  12. 12. History MEDICATIONS  Prescription and over-the-counter medications (especially caffeine-containing analgesics) have been implicated as triggers for drug-rebound and nonspecific headaches.  Thus, it is important to review any medication that a patient is taking for its potential to cause headache.
  13. 13. History RECENT TRAUMA OR PROCEDURES  Headache subsequent to trauma may signify a postconcussive disorder, although ICH should always be suspected.  Migraine and cluster headaches may be triggered by head trauma.  Headache has also been associated with common medical procedures (e.g. LP, rhinoscopy) and dental procedures (e.g., tooth extraction).
  14. 14. Diagnostic Criteria for Cluster Headache A. At least five attacks fulfilling criteria B through D B. Severe unilateral orbital, supraorbital and/or temporal pain lasting 15 to 180 minutes C. Headache associated with at least one of the following signs on the pain side: 1. Conjunctival injection 2. Lacrimation 3. Nasal congestion 4. Rhinorrhea 5. Forehead and facial sweating 6. Miosis 7. Ptosis 8. Eyelid edema D. Frequency of attacks: one attack every other day to eight attacks per day
  15. 15. Diagnostic Criteria for Episodic Tension-Type Headache A. At least 10 previous headache episodes fulfilling criteria B through D; number of days with such headaches: less than 180 days per year B. Headache lasting from 30 minutes to 7 days C. At least two of the following pain characteristics: 1. Pressing or tightening quality 2. Mild or moderate intensity 3. Bilateral location 4. No aggravation by walking stairs or similar routine physical activity D. Both of the following: 1. No nausea or vomiting 2. Photophobia and phonophobia are absent, or one but not the other is present.
  16. 16. Diagnostic Criteria for Migraine without aura A. At least five attacks fulfilling criteria B through D B. Headache lasting 4 to 72 hours C. At least two of the following pain characteristics: 1. Unilateral location 2. Pulsating quality 3. Moderate or severe intensity 4. Aggravation by walking stairs or similar physical activity D. During headache, at least one of the following: 1. Nausea and/or vomiting 2. Photophobia and phonophobia
  17. 17. Diagnostic Criteria for Migraine with aura A. At least two attacks fulfilling criterion B B. At least three of the following characteristics: 1. One or more fully reversible aura symptoms indicating focal cerebral cortical and/or brain-stem dysfunction 2. At least one aura symptom develops gradually over more than 4 minutes, or two or more symptoms occur in succession. 3. No aura symptom lasts more than 60 minutes 4. Headache follows aura, with a free interval of less than 60 minutes.
  18. 18. Physical Examination  The primary purpose of the physical examination is to identify causes of secondary headaches.  General physical examination: - VS (BP, temperature) - Funduscopic examination (papilledema) - CV assessment (assess risk of CVA) - Palpation of the head and face (R/O sinusitis)  Complete neurologic examination (focal neurologic signs)
  19. 19. Neurological examination           Mental status Level of consciousness Cranial nerve testing Motor strength testing Deep tendon reflexes Pathologic reflexes (e.g. Babinski’s sign) Sensation Cerebellar function Gait testing Signs of meningeal irritation (Kernig’s and Brudzinski’s signs).
  20. 20. Red Flags  Headache beginning after 50 years of age (temporal arteritis, mass lesion)  Sudden onset of headache (SAH, hemorrhage into a mass lesion or vascular malformation, mass lesion especially posterior fossa mass)  Headaches increasing in frequency and severity (mass lesion, subdural hematoma, medication overuse)  New-onset headache in patient with risk factors for HIV infection or cancer (brain abscess, meningitis, metastasis)
  21. 21. Red Flags  Headache with signs of systemic illness (e.g. fever, stiff neck, rash indicating meningitis)  Focal neurologic signs (mass lesion, vascular malformation, stroke, collagen vascular disease evaluation)  Papilledema (mass lesion, pseudotumor cerebri, meningitis)  Headache subsequent head trauma (ICH, subdural hematoma, epidural hematoma, post traumatic headache)
  22. 22. Investigations Laboratory  Random use of laboratory testing in the evaluation of acute headache is not warranted.  CBC when systemic or intracranial infection is suspected  ESR when temporal arteritis is a possibility. Neuroimaging  Neuroimaging is not usually warranted in patients with primary headaches .  CT scanning is recommended to identify acute hemorrhage.  MRI studies are recommended to evaluate the posterior fossa.
  23. 23. Investigations Lumbar Puncture  CT scanning without contrast medium, followed by LP if the scan is negative, is preferred to rule out SAH within the first 48 hours.  LP is useful for assessing the CSF for blood, infection and cellular abnormalities.  Headaches are associated with low CSF pressure (e.g. posttraumatic leakage of CSF) and elevated CSF pressure (e.g. idiopathic intracranial HTN and CNS space-occupying lesions)
  24. 24. Indications of referral to Neurologist        Physician has inadequate level of comfort in diagnosing or treating patient’s headache. Patient requests a referral. Patient does not respond to treatment. Patient’s condition or disability continues or worsens. Physician is unable to classify patient’s headache according to diagnostic criteria for primary or secondary headache disorders. Habituation or rebound headaches limit outpatient management. Patient has intractable or daily headaches.
  25. 25. Thank you
  26. 26. Level of consciousness Eye opening  Spontaneous  To speech  To pain  None Verbal response  Oriented  Confused  Words  Sounds  None
  27. 27. Level of consciousness Motor response  Obey commands  Localising pain  Flexing to pain  Extending to pain  None
  28. 28. Higher cerebral function Congnitive skills  Dysphasia (expressive/receptive/nominal)  Dyslexia  Dysgraphia  Dyscalculia  Agnosia Memory test  Immediate  Recent  Remote  Verbal  Visual
  29. 29. Higher cerebral function Reasoning and problem solving  Two-step calculation  Reverse 3/4 random numbers  Explain proverb Emotional state  Anxiety  Depression  Personality disorder
  30. 30. Cranial nerves examination 1. Olfactory (I) 2. Optic nerve (II)  Visual acuity  Visual fields  Optic fundus  Pupils (equality, RX to light, RX to accomodation and convergence)
  31. 31. Cranial nerves examination Oculomotor (III)  Ptosis  Pupil  Ocular movement Trochlear (IV) and Abducens (VI)  LR6  SO4
  32. 32. Cranial nerves examination Trigeminal (V)  Sensation  Corneal reflex  Motor examination Facial (VII)  Asymmetry  Frontalis  Orbicularis oculi  Buccinator  Orbicularis oris  Taste
  33. 33. Cranial nerves examination Auditory (VIII)  Weber’s test  Rinne’s test Glossopharyngeal (IX)  Swallowing  Uvula  Gag reflex
  34. 34. Cranial nerves examination Accessory (XI)  Sternomastoid  Trapezius Hypoglossal (XII)  Tongue atrophy  Tongue fibrillation  Tongue deviation
  35. 35. Motor, Sensation and Reflexes Motor  Muscle wasting  Tone  Power Sensation  Pain  Touch  Temperature  Joint position  Vibration Reflexes (deep tendon, pathologic)
  36. 36. Cerebellar function and meningeal irritation signs Cerebellar function  Finger-nose testing  Supination and pronation of the forearms  Romberg’s test  Gait Signs of meningeal irritation  Kernig’s sign  Brudzinski’s sign
  37. 37. Thank you

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