Neurology is the branch of medicine that deals with the nervous system. In addition to…
Many people are familiar with migraine disorder, but they may not realize that there are other headache disorders. In fact, your debilitating headaches might not be migraines.
Chronic daily headache refers to a condition where someone has 15 or more headaches a month, for a period of three months or longer. These headaches are not considered a symptom of another disorder, but their own disorder.
Chronic daily headaches can also include different types of headaches. The four main types of chronic headaches are:
- Chronic migraine
- Hemicrania Continua
- Chronic Tension-Type Headache
- New Daily Persistent Headache
Each type of headache has its own cluster of symptoms, but any type of chronic daily headache is a reason to seek medical care.
The type of headache may be important for treatment. Your headaches could be caused by an additional condition, such as infection, inflammation, brain tumor, intracranial pressure, or a traumatic brain injury. Getting appropriate medical care can help rule out any of those causes.
If you previously had episodic headaches and used pain medication more than twice a week, your chronic headaches could be rebound headaches. Those are headaches that develop after using too many painkillers.
You do not have to wait until your headaches are chronic to get medical care. While most people will have occasional headaches, it is unusual to:
- Experience a change in headache patterns;
- Be debilitated by your headaches;
- Average two or more headaches each week;
- Need to take pain medication for headaches most days; or
- Need more than the recommended dose of OTC painkillers for your headaches.
A neurologist may be able to diagnose your headaches and provide you with treatments designed to help prevent at least some of your headaches before they occur.
Usually, headaches are not a medical emergency. However, headache can be the sign of an underlying serious condition. If you have a headache that follows a head injury, is sudden and severe, gets worse despite using medication and getting rest, or is accompanied by signs of meningitis or stroke, seek immediate medical attention.
Chronic headaches can be life-altering. They may keep you from doing the things you love, interacting with people, or even performing basic tasks. You do not have to live that way. Modern headache treatments can offer relief and hope.
We may not be able to completely eliminate your headaches. However, we can work together to find therapies and treatments to help you reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of your headaches.