Chronic Headaches

Chronic headaches occur in 3 to 5 percent of adults worldwide. And at least 25 percent of people with FM experience chronic headaches, with chronic migraines and chronic tension headaches being most common. The definition of chronic headache is a headache that occurs at least fifteen days per month for three or more months. Symptoms will vary depending on the type of headache.

Chronic migraines usually affect one side of the head and are characterized by pulsating, throbbing, severe pain. The headache can be aggravated by physical activity, bright light, and loud noise. Sometimes nausea and vomiting also occur during migraine headaches. Chronic tension headaches usually start as intermittent headaches, typically involve both sides of the head, and are mild to moderate in severity. They have a band-like pressure or squeezing quality. Diagnosis is made by history and physical exam. Imaging studies and spinal fluid analyses may be done if brain injury, infection, or tumor is suspected. A newer theory explaining the relationship between these two types of headaches is called the convergence theory. Basically, the convergence theory proposes that chronic tension headaches are simply aborted migraine headaches and that these two types of headaches are more closely related than previously thought. Treatments depend on the type, frequency, and severity of the headaches. Drug treatments include antidepressants, beta blockers, anticonvulsants, triptans (such as Imitrex and Amerge), and NSAIDs. Some people with FM have headaches in response to taking too much pain medication; these are called rebound headaches. Sleep deprivation, stress, and skipping meals also may trigger chronic headaches.

101 Power Tips For Preventing and Treating Headaches

101 Power Tips For Preventing and Treating Headaches

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