The main task when dealing with headaches is to separate the causes that can be
treated appropriately and safely, by integrating complementary therapies, from
causes that need a conventional approach.
As always in medicine there is no substitute for a concise, clear history to enable
an accurate diagnosis to be made. It is then possible to identify the minority of
headaches presenting that need to be diagnosed and treated urgently. This category
includes temporal arteritis, glaucoma, subdural haematoma and bacterial menin-
gitis, where urgent hospital referral for conventional treatment is indicated. Delay
in diagnosis and treatment in these conditions can often have serious consequences.
Having said this, however, the majority of headaches have a benign cause and are
suitable for treatment with many of the complementary therapies.