Yes, It’s A Headache. No, You Don’t Need A Brain Scan

-by Nancy Shute

Headaches may be the most common human malady, accounting for one-quarter of all doctor visits.

It’s almost always just a headache. But what if it’s a brain tumor? Shouldn’t I get a CT scan or MRI exam just to make sure? …

…From 2007 to 2010, people visited the doctor 51 million times for headache-related problems, according to a national database of outpatient visits. And 12 percent of the time, the doctors sent their patients for a brain scan. Those numbers are on the rise, the analysis found, even though guidelines urge doctors to shun the scans. The results were published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Click here for full text of Shute’s article.