This month's health tip from the Massachusetts Medical Society covers an ailment just about everyone gets: headaches.
A headache causes concern because everyone worries if it's a sign of something more serious. But headaches are a normal, occasional occurrence because the head is much more sensitive than other parts of the body. That's why they're also a part of illnesses like colds or the flu. Headaches run along a spectrum in terms of how severe they may be, from the common tension-type to migraines, which is the most severe.
People who have headaches should see a physician if one of these conditions exist: (1) the use of over-the-counter medicines like aspirin doesn't eliminate it; (2) the pattern of headaches, such as the timing or intensity, changes; or (3) the headaches are impairing daily routine or function.
Patients should remember that headaches are extremely common, that some people have more sensitive heads than others, and that some people may be predisposed to the ailment. Steps to take to protect against headaches are the basics for good health in general: eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.
For more information, visit the American Headache Society at www.achenet.org.
The Massachusetts Medical Society, founded in 1781, is the statewide professional association for physicians and medical students.