GPs will be told that headache disorders are “under-diagnosed” and “under-treated” at a migraine conference this week.
Dr Fayyaz Ahmed, a consultant neurologist who chairs the British Association for the Study of Headache, told The Times: “The overall burden of headaches is similar to arthritis and diabetes, and worse than asthma. But it is not given anything like the same priority by the health service.”
Migraines account for one in ten GP visits and may cost the economy £2 billion per year in missed work and school days.
More than 200 GPs, physicians, neurologists and public health experts will attend the conference in Hull, organized by the Migraine Trust.
Following a warning from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that around a million people suffer chronic 'medication headaches' from taking too many painkillers Dr Ahmed suggests “educating the public”.
He said: “We need to educate the public to help them manage their condition. And we need to equip GPs with the knowledge they need to treat headaches.”