A Guide to Chronic Daily Headaches and Migraines

Guide to Chronic Daily Headaches and Migraines

Almost everyone has experienced a headache or migraine at one time or another. However, some people find themselves having regular headaches or a migraine here or there.

Chronic daily headaches plague some patients. These are headaches that appear 15 times out of 30 days a month. These headaches are continuous, and they are among the most crippling headaches. They can be so debilitating that they leave numerous people ready to try anything to find a reprieve from their chronic pain.

Most people don’t know where to find effective and long-lasting relief from their migraines or headaches. By the end of this article, we can point you in the right direction where to find natural relief.

Sources of Chronic Daily Headaches

The cause of these headaches remains a mystery among the medical community. However, some conditions can trigger secondary chronic headaches:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Infections (like meningitis)
  • Intracranial pressure 
  • Brain tumor
  • Inflammation or other issues with the blood vessels around the brain (like a stroke)

Chronic Daily Headache Symptoms

For people dealing with chronic daily headaches, the constant head torture happens for more than fifteen days in a month, and at least three consecutive months. Chronic daily headaches are also called primary headaches. Why? It’s because any other condition does not cause them. 

There are two kinds of chronic daily headaches: short-lasting and long-lasting. The short-lasting type happens for less than four hours a day. The long-term kind occurs more than 4 hours a day, and they may also include any of the following other types of headaches or migraines:

#1 Chronic Migraines

People frequently experience this kind of pain after a period of episodic migraine. Chronic migraines occur on eight or more days per month for at least three consecutive months. Here are some commonly known symptoms of chronic migraines:

  • Throbbing and pulsating sensation
  • Moderate to intense pain
  • Headache that can get worse with regular physical activity
  • Pain on one or both sides of the head
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • High sensitivity to sound,  light, some strong scents

#2 Hemicrania Continua

Another chronic form of headache, hemicrania continua brings about these symptoms:

  • Regular and continuous headache with no breaks
  • Head pain involves only one side of the head 
  • Intense head pain that may accompany migraine-like symptoms
  • Moderate pain with spikes of intense pain
  • May often have at least one of the following:
  • Feeling restless
  • Pupil narrowing or droopy eyelids
  • Redness or tearing of one eye
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion

#3 Chronic Tension-Type Headaches

Tension headaches are chronic when you experience it at least 15 days every month for three months. They cause these:

  • Tightening or pressing pain (not pulsating)
  • Pain on both sides of the head
  • Mild to moderate pain
  • Not made worse with routine physical activity
  • Sometimes it may involve skull tenderness

#4 New Daily Persistent Headaches

These headaches regularly happen to individuals with no previous history of headaches. These are constant within three days of your first episode. Then you will have at least two of the following:

  • Mild to moderate pain
  • Pain on both sides of the head
  • Pain that feels like tightening or pressing but not pulsating
  • Headache that does not aggravate with regular physical activity

Medication Overuse Headaches (MOH)

MOH is one example of a reason for chronic daily headaches that deserves its focused subheading. Also called rebound headaches, they need attention because they are severe. 

Medication overuse headaches arise due to regular, long-term use of medicines that deal with headaches. Pain relievers can help relieve pain, but if you take more than a couple of days per week, then you may be prone to developing MOH.

What Medications Cause MOH?

It would seem that any medication taken for pain relief can cause MOH when taken for a long time. It can be true if the patient already has a headache disorder. Take note, when you are taking pain relievers regularly to care for your arthritis, the medication will not cause you to develop rebound headaches as long as you don’t have any headache disorder. To stop these headaches, you will have to stop taking pain medication entirely. 

The following are the most common symptoms of rebound headaches:

  • Headache that occurs almost every day, frequently waking you up in the early morning
  • Lethargy or exhaustion
  • Memory issues
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Irritation
  • Pain that gets better after taking pain medication. However, it may return as soon as the drug wears off
  • Restlessness

In order to prevent rebound headaches you can do the following: 

  • Avoid your headache triggers
  • Get enough rest and relaxation
  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get enough sleep
  • Reduce your stress levels
  • Lose weight or keep a healthy weight
  • Never skip your regular meals
  • Take your medication only precisely as prescribed by your doctor
  • Avoid medications that contain butalbital and opioids
  • Limit your combination of analgesics and triptans to not more than nine days within a month
  • Be sure not to take over-the-counter pain medications for more than 15 days within a month
  • If you feel like you need more headache medication in a week, consult with your doctor

Remedy to Your Chronic Daily Headaches and Migraines

Various clinical studies have linked headaches and migraines to a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine. The atlas (C1) and axis (C2) vertebrae are the shield and protectors of the brainstem. However, a trip and fall, a minor blow to the neck or head, whiplash, or any other accident can easily make these bones shift out of their proper position. When that happens, these bones begin to put pressure on the brainstem. As a result, it makes the brainstem to transmit improper signals to the brain. These misaligned bones can also act as a blockage that prevents cerebrospinal fluid and blood flow from entering and exiting the brain in the right amounts. All of these can cause migraines and chronic headaches.

Upper cervical chiropractors can take care of your migraines and headache problems. They use a technique that naturally encourages the atlas or axis vertebra to move back to its correct position. Once the fixing of misalignment becomes successful, patients can reduce the severity or frequency of their headaches or migraines. In fact, people in case studies experienced so, and some even reported complete resolution of their headaches and migraines. 

Seek an upper cervical chiropractor near you. Use our site's search function to help you with that.

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.