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Craig asked...

I've been suffering with a sore head.

Tags: Headache

I've been suffering from a sore head of late now I seem to be developing pain in my neck and lower back also I seem to be very hot one minute and cold the next. Is there any advice you could give me on what this is or any treatment you would recommend for these symptoms?

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The answer

There are lots of possible explanations for your symptoms, and the most likely options largely depend on how long you’ve been suffering. For instance, viral infections often cause headaches and muscle aches, as well as fever and feeling hot and cold.

Your body’s immune system usually fights off infection like this with no treatment within 7-10 days. However, if you have other symptoms you need to seek medical help. These include among others:

  • Sudden problems with your eyesight (double or blurred vision, losing sight in part of one eye etc.)
  • Headache associated with not liking the light, neck stiffness or rash
  • Sudden onset headache that reaches a peak within 5 minutes
  • Headache that’s made worse by coughing or sneezing, wakes you from sleep or gets worse from day to day with no let-up
  • Low back pain associated with numbness, tingling or weakness in your legs, or problems with your bladder or bowels
  • Neck pain associated with numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms

Neck and low back pain are extremely common – about 2/3 of people suffer neck pain at some point and 80% of people get bouts of low back pain. Neck problems are also an extremely common cause of headaches – usually headaches that start at the back of the neck and radiate up the back of your skull. However, if your symptoms aren’t settling or you have any of these ‘red flag’ symptoms, do see your GP.
Answered by Dr Sarah Jarvis.


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