What does it mean when you get headaches everyday: Are Your Daily Headaches a Sign of Something More Serious?
Are Your Daily Headaches a Sign of Something More Serious?
Don’t fret just yet. The pounding pain in your head may be annoying, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate a bigger problem.
There it is again — the throbbing in your dome. If you’re bothered by frequent headaches, you may be concerned that you have a more serious condition, such as a brain tumor or an aneurysm. And while those and other dangerous conditions can be marked by headaches, it’s likely that your pain is primary. In other words: It’s probably not the result of another condition.
Unfortunately, doctors don’t know what causes most headaches. According to some estimates, only 10% of headaches have a known cause. But there are contributing factors that can trigger chronic headaches, such as:
- Lack of sleep
- Sensory triggers such as bright lights, loud noises and pungent smells
Chronic headaches can also be linked to other disorders, including depression, anxiety, sinus infections, allergies and temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as TMJ. In order to figure out your headache pattern and identify your triggers, you may want to keep a headache diary to share with your doctor. The National Headache Foundation provides a handy template.
Here are a few common types of chronic headaches:
This is the most common type of headache and it’s likely that you’ve had more than one of these in your life. But for some people, they occur almost every day. Tension headaches affect both sides of your head with a pressing, moderate pain. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) often help, but taking them for long periods of time can lead to headaches called “medication overuse” or “rebound” headaches. Instead, you may want to try meditation, relaxation techniques or heat therapy.
Migraines, although less common, are more severe. The pain is intense, may pulsate and can be accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light or sound, vomiting or visual disturbances called “auras. ” Often, migraines only affect one side of the head, although they can affect both. They also affect women more often than men. Prescription medications are available to treat migraines, but you also may benefit from simply resting in a quiet, dark room and using hot or cold compresses. Progressive symptoms of more severe or frequent headaches, or any headache that is also associated with other neurological symptoms, should be evaluated by a physician
Men are more likely to have these more sudden headaches, which are often marked by pain on one side of the head, behind the eye. They tend to happen in clustered periods of time, even multiple times a day, then disappear for a while. Eyes tend to water, and a restless feeling is common. These headaches usually require prescription medicines.
New daily persistent headache (NDPH)
If you suddenly get frequent headaches, you may have NDPH. The symptoms of NDPH can mimic tension headaches or migraines, but NDPH occurs in people who don’t have a history of headaches. Often, people with NDPH can remember exactly when the onset happened. Your doctor may need to run tests to make sure these headaches aren’t secondary — that is, a symptom of a serious underlying condition.
Although daily headaches might not be the result of a dangerous problem, they can affect your quality of life and shouldn’t be considered “normal.”
“Progressive symptoms of more severe or frequent headaches, or any headache that is also associated with other neurological symptoms, should be evaluated by a physician,” says Jonathan J. Russin, MD, a neurosurgeon at Keck Medicine of USC and assistant professor of clinical neurological surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Even using these criteria, the majority of headaches will not represent an underlying problem. An exception is a ‘thunderclap’ headache, which refers to the sudden onset of the worst headache of your life. This type of headache should always be evaluated by a physician whether it is associated with other symptoms or not. ”
Dr. Jonathan J. Russin
Tina Donvito is a freelance writer covering health, culture, travel and parenting.
Constant or Chronic Headaches: Symptoms, Causes, and More
We’ve all felt the symptoms of a headache at some point in our lives. Usually, they’re a minor annoyance that can be relieved using over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication.
But what if your headaches are constant, occurring almost every day?
Chronic daily headaches are when you have a headache for 15 days or more per month during a 3-month period. Both adults and children can have chronic, or constant, headaches. They can become debilitating and can interfere with your day-to-day activities.
The term “chronic daily headache” is rather broad and includes several different types of headaches that can occur on a daily basis:
- tension headache, which feels like a tightening band has been placed around your head
- migraine attacks, which feel like a very intense throbbing headache that can occur on one or both sides of your head and may sometimes be preceded by a collection of symptoms called aura
- cluster headache, which can occur on and off over a period of weeks or months and can cause severe pain on one side of your head, often in the area around or behind an eye
- hemicrania continua, which is a constant, or daily, headache that occurs on one side of your head and may feel similar to migraine
- new daily persistent headache, which involves headache pain that comes on suddenly and continues to occur daily, lasting for months without easing
Read on to learn more about constant headaches, what may cause them, and how you can manage them.
The symptoms of a constant headache can vary depending on the type of headache you’re experiencing. They include head pain that can:
- involve one or both sides of your head
- feel like a pulsing, throbbing, or tightening feeling
- vary in intensity from mild to severe
Other symptoms can include:
- nausea or vomiting
- sensitivity to lights, sounds, or smells
- a stuffy or runny nose
- redness or tearing up of the eyes
- feeling restless or agitated
Doctors still don’t know what exactly causes daily headache symptoms. Some possible causes include one or a combination of the following:
- Trigeminal nerve activation. The trigeminal nerve is a major nerve that’s found in your head and face. One of its functions is sending sensory information from the various structures and tissues in these areas to the brain. Activation of this nerve can lead to the symptoms of many types of headache.
- Muscle tension. Tightening of the muscles of the head and neck can create tension and lead to headache pain.
- Hormones. Changes in the levels of certain hormones, such as estrogen, are associated with the onset of some types of headache. For example, naturally occurring changes in estrogen levels likely play a role in the increased prevalence of migraine in women.
- Genetics. Although more research is needed, experts believe that genetics can influence your susceptibility to certain types of headache, particularly migraine.
Regardless of the exact mechanism, it’s known that headaches are often triggered by lifestyle or environmental factors. A few examples include:
- lack of sleep
- skipped meals
- physical exertion
- changes in weather
- caffeine or alcohol use
- feelings of anxiety or depression
- certain types of medications
While pain medication is often used to ease headache pain, overuse can also cause a constant headache. This is called a medication overuse headache or a rebound headache. You’re at risk for this type of headache if you take OTC or prescription pain medication more than 3 days per week, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Experts currently believe that constant, or chronic, headaches result when an episodic headache disorder transforms into a chronic one. While the mechanisms behind this change are poorly understood, some risk factors for the transition from episodic to chronic headache include:
- overuse of pain medication
- disrupted sleep
- high caffeine intake
- persistently high stress levels
There are many possible treatments for constant headaches. A doctor will work with you to determine which treatment will be best for you. Your treatment will depend on the type of headache you’re experiencing.
Treatments for constant headache include:
Medications can be used to prevent or treat constant headaches. If overuse of OTC or prescription pain medication is contributing to constant headache, your doctor will likely recommend that you discontinue this medication to help break the headache cycle.
Often, the treatment of constant headaches aims to prevent headaches from happening. This can decrease the need for the use of pain medications. Some examples of medications that may help to prevent constant headaches include:
- antidepressants called tricyclics, such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline, which can prevent headaches and may also help manage the anxiety or depression that can occur with constant headaches
- antiseizure medications like gabapentin (Neurontin) and topiramate (Topamax)
- beta-blockers like propranolol (Inderal) and metoprolol (Lopressor)
- monoclonal antibodies to calcitonin gene-related peptide like erenumab (Aimovig), fremanezumab (Ajovy), eptinezumab (Vyepti), atogepant (Qulipta), and rimegepant (Nurtec), which work to prevent migraine attacks, and galcanezumab (Emgality), which can prevent migraine attacks and cluster headaches
- medications like the calcium channel blocker verapamil (Verelan) or the mood stabilizer lithium, which can help prevent cluster headache
- Botox injection, which is an injection of a neurotoxin made from the bacteria that causes botulism (Botox can also be an option for people who aren’t tolerating daily medication)
When headaches do happen, you may treat them with medications like:
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve)
- triptans like sumatriptan (Imitrex) and rizatriptan (Maxalt)
- ergot derivatives like dihydroergotamine
Generally, however, use pain medications sparingly where possible. This is because they can lead to medication overuse or rebound headaches.
Your doctor may recommend other therapies as well, possibly in combination with medications. Non-medication therapies include:
- Therapy. You can receive therapy from a mental health professional either alone or in a group. Therapy can help you understand the mental effects of your headaches and discuss ways to cope.
- Biofeedback. Biofeedback uses monitoring devices to help you understand and learn to control body functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension.
- Nerve stimulation. This approach involves delivering electrical impulses to stimulate certain nerves. Occipital nerve stimulation may help with migraine, while vagus nerve stimulation can help to treat cluster headache.
- Acupuncture. This treatment involves inserting tiny hair-thin needles into specific places on the body.
- Massage. Massage may help with relaxation and reduce tension in muscles.
- Supplements. Options such as butterbur or feverfew may help to lower the frequency of migraine attacks.
A doctor may suggest making some lifestyle changes in order to help manage your headaches. These can include things like:
- avoiding things that can trigger your headaches
- making sure that you get enough sleep
- trying to eat meals more regularly
- managing weight if you have overweight or obesity
- exploring ways to lower your stress levels
- getting regular exercise
- limiting or avoiding caffeine or alcohol use
- quitting smoking
You can visit a primary care doctor to discuss your constant headaches. They may also refer you to a neurologist, which is a type of doctor who specializes in conditions that affect the nervous system.
To reach a diagnosis, a doctor will first take your medical history. They may ask questions like:
- How often do you get headaches?
- How long do your headaches last?
- Where is the pain located and what does it feel like?
- Do your headaches occur at a certain time or after a specific activity?
- Do you have any additional symptoms with your headaches?
- Do you have a family history of some types of headache, such as migraine?
- What medications are you taking?
A doctor will then perform a physical examination. Laboratory testing typically isn’t necessary unless you have symptoms of an infection or other illness.
During an examination, a doctor will work to rule out any possible secondary causes of headache, which can include:
- infections, such as meningitis or encephalitis
- obstructive sleep apnea
- traumatic brain injury
- brain tumor
- exposure to toxic chemicals or substances
A doctor may also use imaging tests, such as a CT scan or MRI, to help diagnose the cause of your headache.
In order to receive the most effective treatment for your constant headaches, visit a doctor to receive a diagnosis. The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if you don’t already have a doctor.
Make an appointment with a doctor to discuss your symptoms if:
- You’re experiencing two or more headaches in a week.
- Your headaches get worse or don’t improve when you use OTC pain medication.
- You use an OTC pain medication almost every day to control your headaches.
- You notice that things like physical exertion or strenuous activities trigger your headaches.
- Your headaches begin to interfere with your day-to-day activities, such as sleep, work, or school.
Sometimes a headache may be a symptom of a more serious problem, such as a stroke or meningitis. Go to the nearest emergency room if you experience:
- a severe headache that comes on suddenly
- a headache that includes symptoms of infection, such as high fever, stiff neck, nausea, or vomiting
- a headache that includes other neurological symptoms, such as confusion, numbness, or problems with coordination, walking, or speaking
- a headache that occurs after a head injury
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It’s possible that you may have a few additional questions about headaches. We’ll address some of these below.
What kind of headaches does COVID-19 cause?
Headache is a potential symptom of COVID-19, the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2. Early estimates from the World Health Organization placed the prevalence of headache in COVID-19 at 13.6 percent.
However, these estimates vary greatly based on the group that’s being observed. For example, some studies have reported headache in 13 percent of participants, while others have reported this symptom in almost 75 percent of participants.
An October 2020 study surveyed 262 people with confirmed COVID-19 that included headache as a symptom. The survey respondents reported experiencing headaches that:
- typically affected both sides of the head
- could be felt as a variety of different sensations, including pulsing, pressing, or stabbing
- lasted a long time, sometimes over 72 hours
- were more resistant to pain relieving medications
- often occurred along with other COVID-19 symptoms like loss of taste and smell or digestive symptoms
- felt different from their typical headaches (in those with a history of headaches)
Headache can also be a symptom of post COVID-19 condition, or long COVID. An August 2021 paper reviewed 28 studies and 7 pre-print studies. It found that the prevalence of persistent headache in the 6 months after COVID-19 illness was between 8 and 15 percent.
Is it common to have headaches every day?
Chronic daily headaches aren’t that common. According to a 2017 review, the estimated worldwide prevalence ranges between 3 and 5 percent. It’s believed that most of these people have chronic migraine.
When should you be concerned about a headache?
There are some red flags that indicate that you should be concerned about a headache. These include a headache that:
- happens two or more times per week
- recurs or is persistent
- gradually worsens over several days
- is different from your typical headache patterns or symptoms
- is very severe and comes on suddenly
- develops after you’ve had a head injury
You might also be concerned about a headache that happens with any of the following symptoms:
- nausea and vomiting not related to another known illness
- high fever
- stiff neck
- shortness of breath
- blurry vision
- loss of consciousness
Headaches are also concerning when they’re new and happen in:
- older people
- those who are living with HIV
- people with a history of cancer or a weakened immune system
If you have a headache that falls into any of these categories, it’s important to visit a doctor promptly. They can help to evaluate your condition and determine what may be causing your headache.
Constant or chronic daily headaches happen when you have a headache for 15 days or more out of a month. Many types of headaches can become constant, including tension headaches and migraine.
A variety of treatment options are available for managing constant headaches. Speak with a doctor about your symptoms to receive a proper diagnosis and the most effective treatment for you.
Why does my head hurt every day. Causes of daily pain.
Why does my head hurt every day. Causes of daily pain.
Gimranov Rinat Fazylzhanovich
Neurologist, neurophysiologist, experience – 33 years;
Professor of Neurology, MD;
Clinic for Rehabilitation Neurology. About the author
Publication date: April 6, 2021
Updated: March 3, 2023
Headache indicates circulatory disorders and other pathological processes occurring at different intensity and speed. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to your own well-being.
At a young age, such problems do not occur so often and it is not always clear, for example, what to do if a child has a headache. The older a person becomes, the better he begins to understand how to deal with pain.
If your head hurts a little, but almost every day, you need to go through an examination and find out the reasons why the attacks happen during the day. The problem can be solved by adjusting the daily regimen, nutrition, replenishment of vitamins. Serious treatment for depression may be required . Or other dangerous pathologies.
- 1 Causes
- 2 Diagnosis
- 3 Treatment
- 4 Prevention
- 5 References
Often the problem in a person suffering from regular headaches is not a disease, but a negative influence of external circumstances.
Common causes that an adult has a very bad headache almost every day are:
- Too little or too much sleep. Too long a period of sleep, as well as its regular lack, lead to severe headaches in adults in the morning and afternoon, when most of the rest is not at night.
- Stress, acute and chronic. A stressful state provokes an excessive load on the nervous system. It leads to a constant feeling of fatigue and attacks, like a headache with a migraine.
- Systematic consumption of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol negatively affects the circulatory system and brain cells, gradually destroying them. With excessive or frequent use of alcoholic beverages, episodes of cephalalgia become regular.
- Head injuries. After the impact, discomfort can persist in the patient for 1.5 – 2 months.
- Neoplasms, benign and malignant. A cyst or tumor inside the skull is accompanied by constant pain in the affected area . The growing neoplasm increases in size and presses on adjacent tissues.
- Infectious diseases that cause inflammation of various parts of the head.
- Taking medications. The use of medicines without the advice of a doctor, too often or simply because of their specific side effects, leads to the manifestation of headaches.
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system, to a greater extent associated with regular jumps in blood pressure. In this case, the vessels of the brain suffer, the nutrition of the brain is disturbed, to which it reacts with cephalgia.
- Eye strain. Working with equipment with a backlit screen, with small details or in poor lighting, leads to overstrain of the eye muscles. That gradually develops into a full-fledged pain syndrome.
- It is extremely important to find out in time why an adult has a very strong or slight headache almost every day, because the reason can be easily eliminated. Or, on the contrary, it is life-threatening and requires special treatment .
If the head hurts almost every day during the daytime, then before deciding what to do about it, whether it is normal or a manifestation of the disease, they determine the causes, try to understand what it could be
As a result, he refers the patient for a consultation with a specialized doctor and prescribes the necessary tests:
- Blood tests: clinical, biochemical, for hormones in women.
- Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and cervical spine.
- Diagnosis by ultrasound, intracranial dopplerography.
- Electroencephalography, EEG monitoring.
According to the data obtained, it will be clear why the head hurts not much, but every day, and why this or that symptomatology began to develop. After analyzing the results and consulting with colleagues, the doctor will make an accurate diagnosis.
After the causes of severe or mild headaches are identified in an adult almost every day, the doctor, knowing exactly what this disease is, can treat it.
For regular headaches, adults may be prescribed:
- Painkillers of the appropriate category. Sometimes, they need to be combined and taken for a long time .
- Sedatives. Since headache attacks are often the result of psycho-emotional stress, sedatives help reduce anxiety and pressure on a person.
- Antibacterials if an infection has been found. At the same time, medications are prescribed for the symptoms that accompany the disease.
- Antihypertensive drugs to help manage high blood pressure (BP). Depending on the specific cause that causes attacks of high blood pressure, drugs of the appropriate groups are prescribed.
- Hypotension medicines help with low blood pressure. Quickly remove pain, increase efficiency.
Therapy is selected strictly based on the diagnosis and the identified symptoms. As a rule, it is possible to limit oneself to taking drugs and a complex of physiotherapeutic procedures.
Depending on the causes of daily headaches, additional physiotherapy procedures may be prescribed. Electrophoresis, magnetotherapy and massage courses become frequent appointments. Against the background of a sedentary lifestyle and in the presence of excess weight, a special course of physiotherapy exercises and a diet are prescribed.
In some cases, surgery may be indicated. It is resorted to in the case when the disease cannot be defeated by other means.
There are folk remedies that help to cope with headache attacks. Before resorting to them, you should consult with your doctor. There are ways that will have a negative impact on your condition or affect the course of therapy, cause side effects.
After examining the patient, the clinic complements the treatment complex with physiotherapy methods. In some cases, the result is shown by sessions of transcranial magnetic stimulation – TMS.
For each patient, the modes of exposure that suit him are selected. Thanks to this, a quick and lasting result is achieved. TMS is also used for the prevention of pain.
In most cases, if you suffer from daily headaches in the evening and during the day, you can improve your well-being by using preventive measures.
Most physicians agree that there are a few rules to follow in order to avoid headaches :
- Avoid overvoltage. Psycho-emotional exhaustion has the worst effect on well-being in adulthood. Avoid severe stress and perform only feasible physical and intellectual activities.
- Spend more free time outdoors. A walk in the park or a weekend trip to nature with a little physical activity will have a positive effect on health. It is relevant if you lead an inactive lifestyle most of the time.
- Alignment and observance of the daily routine. The distribution of time for sleep, work and rest according to psychophysical needs will avoid exhaustion of the body.
- Power regulation. It is worth paying more attention to a healthy natural diet: reduce the amount of sugar consumed, confectionery, fatty foods and products containing soy.
- Professional massage and self-massage of the frontal and temporal areas will stop the onset of a headache or prevent an attack. A course of special massage will allow you to forget about this problem for a long time.
If, even if you follow the right lifestyle and without the influence of changed external factors, every day you begin to have a headache, you need to establish the causes with the help of diagnostics from a doctor.
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Gimranov Rinat Fazylzhanovich
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Headache in the back of the head – Causes and what to do
Headache in the back of the head? Looking for a reason and don’t know what to do? In the article, we answer your questions and give some advice from our therapists on what to do if the back of the head hurts. We warn you that only specialists can make an accurate diagnosis. The reasons why the head hurts in the back of the head are quite serious. Therefore, if you are now reading this material, then think about making an appointment with a therapist for an accurate diagnosis. The causes of head pain in the back of the head can be different. We have collected the most common cases and invite you to get acquainted with them.
Why does the head hurt in the back of the head
Pain in the back of the head in the morning, for example, may indicate developing arterial hypertension. You should get a blood pressure monitor and get in the habit of taking your blood pressure readings every day in the morning. Be careful, if the pressure rises, you must definitely visit a therapist to receive treatment and take preventive measures. To stop the development of the disease, give up coffee and strong tea, reduce physical activity, do not eat fried and spicy foods.
If you have a headache in the back of your head, sign up for a consultation with a therapist at the Diamed clinic closest to you. The appointment is made by the multi-channel phone of our clinics 8 (495) 221-21-14 or through the online appointment form. You can also order a free call through the “Call me back” button or call directly to the clinic closest to you at the phone number listed on the Contacts page.
The fair sex after 30 years and not only the back of the head can hurt due to stress factors. Overexertion – another risk factor – primarily causes pain in the back of the head.
Programmers, motorists and other non-traffic professionals also often have headaches in the back of their heads. Cervical ailments are a very common cause of neck pain. At the same time, discomfort increases due to movements.
Cervical spondylosis usually occurs in adulthood due to lack of activity. Painful sensations capture the upper shoulder girdle, and can also be given to the organs of vision and hearing. Unpleasant sensations are almost constant.
Myogelosis also provokes pain in this area, as well as neuralgia of the occipital nerve, which also manifests itself in the form of attacks of pain in the back of the head. Neuralgia often causes hyperesthesia. The disease can develop due to osteochondrosis, hypothermia, etc.
Cervical migraine also has pain in the back of the head among its symptoms. Pain in the back of the head can also be caused by problems with blood vessels. Pulsating pain inside the skull may be accompanied by problems with venous outflow.
So let’s sum it up. Pain in the back of the head most often indicates:
- hernias in the cervical region;
- inflammation of the occipital nerve;
- vertebrobasilar insufficiency.
What to do if the head hurts in the back of the head
As you can see, the head hurts in the back of the head for a reason. And if you can cope with the cause of overwork or stress on your own, then other diseases are an urgent reason to see a doctor. Timely diagnosed diseases and adequate treatment will not only save you from pain, but also keep you healthy and active for many years.