The huge importance of headache in public health arises from its causal association with personal and societal burdens of pain, disability, damaged quality of life, and financial costs.
Headache disorders are in fact common and ubiquitous. They have a neurological basis, but rarely they are due to serious underlying illness. The primary headache disorders – migraine, tension-type headache, and cluster headache - are easily seen by family physicians or GPs; however, a relatively small number of secondary headache disorders could also be encountered in primary care. It is important that they are recognized and treated in the most appropriate way because of their potentially dangerous underlying causes; moreover, mismanagement and overuse of medications to treat acute headache are major risk factors for disease aggravation.
Purpose of this Series, endorsed by the European Headache Federation – EHF, is to provide a detailed description of all aspects of headache disorders that are common and relevant both in primary care and in hospital setting.