Find reliable independent health and treatment information about headache written by Australian experts. This includes resources for consumers and health professionals.
Almost everyone will have a headache at some point in their life, but fortunately, most headaches (even bad ones) aren't serious.
The most common types of headache are tension headache — most ‘ordinary’ headaches are of this type — and migraine (which has very distinct symptoms). Cluster headache is a rare but very painful type of headache that almost always only affects men.
Find out more
- Tension-type headache
- Cluster headache
- Medication overuse headache
- Headache diary
For health professionals
Patients with recurrent benign headache need reassurance and a targeted physical and neurological examination, together with a detailed history, can provide this as well as enabling a differential diagnosis for more serious conditions. Neuroimaging should be reserved for patients with definite indicators of serious conditions. Headache is common and most are benign. Global 1–year prevalence data show that about one in two people will experience a headache: four in 10 of these will have a tension-type headache and one in 10 will have a migraine.1
For your patients
Use the following tools and resources in your patient consultations.
- Headache diary for patients
Provides general information about headaches and allows patients to record details such as frequency, severity, suspected triggers and medicines use. This can inform discussion of the impact of headache on quality of life, ensure appropriate follow-up and monitor response to treatment.
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The information below is intended for health professionals. It uses the latest guidelines and evidence to help health professionals further understand the diagnosis and management of headaches. It also includes resources, tools and additional information for patients and carers.
- Stovner LJ, Hagen K, Jensen R, et al. The global burden of headache: a documentation of headache prevalence and disability worldwide. Cephalalgia 2007;27:193–210. [Pubmed]