Chronic daily headaches are headaches occurring for more than 15 days over the period of a month, which can be extremely debilitating and makes day to day life very challenging.
What are Chronic Daily Headaches?
The definition of chronic daily headache varies slightly, but generally consists of those suffering with headaches, with a duration greater than 4 hours, for more than 15 days in a calendar month. For it to be categorised as chronic, the headaches have continued for a period of 6 months or more! As you can imagine, this is an extremely long time to be in constant discomfort, which can largely affect a person’s quality of life, as well as their ability to participate in general day to day activities.
Different types of headaches can be chronic daily headaches, with the most common type being chronic daily tension-type headaches.
Symptoms of Chronic Daily TT Headaches:
- Mild/moderate pain, forming a band across head
- Felt on both sides of head
- Tightening/compressing sensation
Previous history of migraines or a head injury/whiplash injury has also been associated with chronic daily headaches.
Risk factors for daily headaches:
- High stress levels or stressful life events
- Lack of sleep
- Overuse of pain medications (> 2 days/week for several months)
- Being female
Whilst seeking appropriate medical treatment is very important, there are also lots of lifestyle factors that can be made immediately to help stop the progression of chronic daily headaches. Changes to your lifestyle to address the afore mentioned risk factors can be the key to not only reducing headaches but also preventing recurrence.
Examples of this include:
- Increasing exercise to not only assist weight loss but also help manage stress levels
- Practicing mindfulness to address stress, and is also known to help with sleep quality
- Seek assistance in reducing reliance on pain medication
- Monitor caffeine and sugar intake – tracking your symptoms along side this can help to determine what the appropriate consumption amount is for you
- Trial a new pillow or mattress to try and improve sleep duration and quality!
On top of the lifestyle changes, it is important to seek advice from your general practitioner, as well as other health care professionals. It may be necessary to see a neurologist to rule out other conditions. Furthermore, visits to a headache specialist will enable you to achieve a medication-free approach to treatment, as well as significantly reducing your headache duration, intensity and frequency!
Watch the video below to hear our director clinician, Bertrand Doeuk explain all things Chronic Daily Headaches, especially more about the causes and treatment options.
If you are a sufferer of headaches or migraines, contact us today! Let us help you be headache or migraine free!