Most people have headaches from time to time. But if you have a headache more days than not, you may be experiencing chronic daily headaches. Chronic daily headaches are not well-understood. Often they don’t have an identifiable underlying cause. Chronic daily headaches are defined as occurring 15 days or more a month, for at least three months.
There are short-lasting and long-lasting chronic daily headaches. Long-lasting last more than four hours. They include:

• Chronic migraine
• Chronic tension-type headache
• New daily persistent headache
• Hemicrania continua

Migraine headaches typically occur 8 or more days per month and last at least 3 months. Migraines have the following features:

• Affect one side or both sides of your head
• Pulsating, throbbing pain sensation
• Cause moderate to severe pain
• Worsen by doing routine physical activity

And they cause at least one of the following:

• Nausea, vomiting or both
• Sensitivity to light and sound

Tension-type headaches tend to have the following features:

• Affects both sides of your head
• Cause mild to moderate pain
• Cause pain that feels pressing or tightening, but not pulsating
• Aren’t aggravated by routine physical activity
Some people may have skull tenderness.

Daily persistent headaches become constant within three days of your first headache. They have at least two of the following characteristics:

• Usually affects both sides of your head
• pressing or tightening pain sensation, but not pulsating
• Cause mild to moderate pain
• Not affected by routine physical activity

Hemicrania continua headaches have one or more of these symptoms:

• Affect only one side of your head
• Are daily and continuous with no pain-free periods
• Cause moderate pain with spikes of severe pain
• Respond to the prescription pain reliever indomethacin (Indocin)
• May sometimes become severe with development of migraine-like symptoms

In addition, hemicrania continua headaches are associated with at least one of the following:

• Tearing or redness of the eye on the affected side
• Nasal congestion or runny nose
• Drooping eyelid or pupil narrowing
• Sensation of restlessness

Occasional headaches are common, and usually require no medical attention. However, consult your doctor if:

• You experience two or more headaches a week
• You take a pain reliever for your headaches most days
• The recommended dose of over-the-counter pain doesn’t relieve your headaches
• Your headache pattern changes or your headaches worsen
• Your headaches are disabling

If you have chronic daily headaches, you’re also more likely to have depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and other psychological and physical problems. Factors associated with developing frequent headaches include:

• Anxiety
• Depression
• Sleep disturbances
• Obesity
• Snoring
• Excessive caffeine use
• Overuse of headache medication
• Other chronic pain conditions

The incessant nature of chronic daily headaches interferes with day-to-day activities. This pain and suffering effects all parts of your life. Aggressive initial treatment and steady, long-term management may reduce pain and lead to fewer headaches. The goal of treatment is to reduce your pain and other symptoms and improve your quality of life. Contact Florida Pain Medicine today to speak with our pain specialist.