Headaches are underestimated
Headache is a common symptom that can be caused more than 200 different medical problems (see this link). Some causes are very visible (like brain tumors), but the most common causes like migraine and tension type headache are not visible on available imaging.
Migraine is the second most common type of headache. It is also the third most common disease in the world.
The most common headache is tension type, but it is way less disabling
That is why there is a focus on migraine in our website but we must not forget the other headaches.
How common are other headaches?
Please note that this data does not come from Canada. We need more research on headache prevalence in Canada.
Based on these statistics, we can propose that headaches are a public health concern and that headache clinics should be available to Canadians.
For comparison, prevalences of other well-known diseases
Multiple sclerosis: 2/1000
Migraine has a significant impact on personal and professional life
Migraine can start in childhood or teenage and persist until older age. It affects people during their productive years. It does not kill people but impairs life, one day at a time. The World Health Organization recognizes migraine as the first cause of disability in people under 50 years old (all diseases considered).
Chronic migraine is the most severe form of migraine
Chronic migraine (CM) means having 15 days or more of headache per month, 8 of which are migraine attacks. Chronic Migraine may affect 2% of Canadians. That means 760 000 Canadians.
Patients with chronic migraine suffer from significant comorbidities and diminished quality of life. In a survey realized by Migraine Canada on 250 persons with chronic migraine: