Headache frequency – epidemiology
Pain is the most common somatic complaint presented by patients in the outpatient unit of medical care. In the first place in terms of the frequency of complaints is pain in the back (10%), followed by complaints of pain in the legs (9%), hands, and also headache (6% each).
According to a study of the state of public health and nutrition, 11% of the adult population of the United States of America suffer from episodes of local chronic pain lasting 24 hours or more, 4% of the adult population suffer from chronic common pain.
In this study, the most significant types of pain were assessed, and as a result, the frequency of occurrence of headache was significantly lower than that reported in the following sections, where all types of headache are considered. Among the main types of pain of different localization, pain in the head was in fourth place in terms of prevalence. Headache occurs more often in women and depends on race.
Complaints of headaches impose about half of the adult population of the globe; at least once in their life they occur in 2/3 of the adult population. The overwhelming majority of patients suffering from chronic headache are observed by general practitioners. According to the Public Service of ambulatory medical care, 2/3 of patients suffering from migraine are treated by local physicians and only 17% by neurologists.
Acute or first-time headaches can be caused by systemic diseases, such as infections or intracranial pathology. Headache may occur due to musculoskeletal dysfunction of the cervical spine.
Chronic headache is most often of a primary nature, although some secondary headaches (for example, post-traumatic, with trigeminal neuralgia, postherpetic neuralgia and analgesic-induced headache) can also be accompanied by chronic pain syndromes.