Headaches are common. Nearly all of us experience them at some point during our lives. Many people worry that their headaches have a serious underlying cause, but fortunately for the overwhelming majority this is not the case. Nonetheless for many people, severe recurrent headaches, such as migraine, cause significant disruption to work, school, social life and relationships. Because of this, and because migraine is so common, the World Health Organization ranks it in the top 20 worldwide causes of disability.
On this page you will find downloadable factsheets on different types of headaches and headache treatments, headache diaries and links to other websites that provide useful and reliable information on headache disorders. You can also listen to radio interviews with Dr Weatherall.
The London Headache Centre accepts private referrals, including self-referrals. Patients with medical insurance will need a letter of referral from their general practitioner. We will usually spend 40-45 minutes with new patients, and 25-30 minutes with follow-ups. You can expect to be listened to by a doctor with a wealth of treatment experience and knowledge of migraine, together with a genuine interest in your condition.
The most important part of the first consultation is the detailed history which we take to understand fully the nature of your headache. This history covers when the headaches began, their pattern, symptoms, and impact on your life. We will be particularly interested in your medication, past and present, and it is helpful to bring a list of this with you. There will be a limited clinical examination. Some, but not all patients may need additional tests or scans.
The keys to successful headache management are making the correct diagnosis, recognizing the contribution lifestyle issues can play in perpetuating headache disorders, choosing the right treatment for the right person, and perseverance. Don't worry if people have told you, 'there's nothing that can be done' - there is always something that can be done, whether it be changing one's lifestyle, trying new treatments (or old treatments in a new way), or considering innovative options such as GON blocks, Botox, non-invasive neurostimulation (VNS or TMS), or the new CGRP antibodies (erenumab (Aimovig)).