Common Chronic Daily Headaches

Headache is one of the most common symptoms of intracranial hypertension.  Approximately 90% of people who have chronic IH, report headache, though a minority (less than 10%) have intracranial hypertension and do not experience headache.

Chronic Tension-Type Headachesconstant headaches1

Patients with constant headaches have tension-type headaches more than 15 days per month. Tension-type headaches are usually non-throbbing, experienced more as a tight band around the head or a sense of tension or pressure in the head. They are not typically as severe as migraine and they do not usually have associated symptoms such as nausea or sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. The pain is usually throughout the head and may also include the neck and shoulders.

Hemicrania Continua

This is a rare headache disorder which occurs most commonly in women. The headache is characterized by pain that occurs only on one side of the head. The pain waxes and wanes in intensity, but never really goes away. As with all chronic daily headaches, it is generally not diagnosed unless present for at least three months. During severe episodes of worsening, patients may experience ‘autonomic features’; these are symptoms such as eyelid drooping on the side of the headache, eye tearing, or the pupil on that side becoming smaller (miotic). Occasionally patients experience sudden ‘jabs’ of pain and occasionally mild sensitivity to light, sound, and mild nausea.

Chronic Paroxysmal Hemicrania

This is a rare disorder, similar to hemicrania continua. In the case of chronic paroxysmal hemicrania, the pain is only on one side of the head, but it is severe, short-lasting, and tends to occur multiple times per day. An individual attack may last between 2 to 30 minutes, with complete resolution of pain afterwards. Associated with the attack may be other symptoms such as eye redness on the side of the pain, nasal congestion, facial sweating, eye tearing, and some migraine features such as sensitivity to light or mild nausea. The attacks can occur once per day, or as many as 40 times per day. Episodic paroxysmal hemicrania occurs generally for a few weeks, but can last as long as 5 months. Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania involves recurrent attacks for at least a year, with only brief (less than a month) periods of freedom from headaches.

Nutritional Stress

What we eat plays a big role in overall health and one’s ability to adapt to stress. Smoking, caffeine and high sugar intake all increase muscle hyperactivity and lower adaptive capacity making us more prone to fatigue and pain. In addition to decreasing their intake, supplements with calcium and magnesium can decrease muscle dysfunction. Also, supplements with chondroiton sulfate and glucosamine can improve the health of the TMJs in particular and other joints in general. If you are unaware of your dietary intake, try keeping a diet diary for a week and see what you learn! To get more information, visit