Chronic daily headaches

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sailmonii34
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/27/2007 2:38 PM (GMT -7)   
does anyone else have these? well, that's a stupid question, i'm sure a lot of you do.
if you're not sure: http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/chronic-daily-headache
i have a headache 24/7. i can't remember an hour long period where i didn't have one.


anyways, if you do what do you do for them?
personally, i have taken so much advil and stuff like that that it doesn't work anymore. Aspirin is the only thing that works, but it either makes me so hyper that i'm jumping off the walls then i crash, or i become so out of it i don't know whats going on.
Also, pressure helps tons. i just press against my head, and it helps but i can't walk around with a pen against my head all day you know.
Darkness also helps, so randomly in the middle of class i put my head down. my teachers have finally just let me be and stopped trying to make me look up.

those are just the main things tho, i do others too.
have u found anything else that helps?

korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 5/27/2007 4:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Taking that much Ibuprofen (Advil) most likely is causing rebound headaches. From what it sounds like you're describing, I'm almost certain that taking the medication is harming you more than it's helping. Medication overuse can even be the cause of daily headaches. But, regardless, you need to see a headache specialist and be prescribed a daily preventative medication that you can take without the risk of additional headaches or an abortive medication that's more effective (so that you won't need to overuse it). I have constant headaches also and, believe me, it's not something you can (or should) handle with over-the-counter medications. See a neurologist!

korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 5/28/2007 12:10 PM (GMT -7)   

Here's the International Headache Society's classification system for medication-overuse headaches:

http://216.25.100.131/ihs_v2/ihs_user/code/guidelines_frame.asp?idSource=1 (under classification) 

 



DX: NDPH, Bipolar 2, Recovered CRPS
RX: Zonegran, Lamictal, Minocyclin, Abilify, Cymbalta, Wellbutrin, Provigil, Clonazepam, Rozerem
PRN: DHE IM, Droperidol IM, Toradol IM, Haloperidol, Zyprexa, Thorazine, Zofran

Post Edited (korbnep) : 5/30/2007 12:51:26 PM (GMT-6)


sailmonii34
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/28/2007 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
nooooo!!!! i'm not over dosing!!!!!!!!!!!! i just meant that i have gotten these since i was in like kindergarden, and so i have taken advil since then like every other day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i would never over dose, i know the dangers, and i know my limit. but thanks for the concern

baseballmomof3
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 189
   Posted 5/28/2007 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   

Sailmonii34:  I don't think anyone was saying that you are overdosing on Advil.  The word is "over-using".  When you take any med every day or every other day that is designed for "occassional use" it can cause headaches.  When you have a lot of headaches and use over the counter meds (or actually any meds) a lot of the time, you can get what is called "rebound headaches".  They can be as bad as a true migraine but are literally caused by taking medicine so many times.  Please google rebound headaches (or go the site listed in one of these posts or others) and read about rebound headaches.  No one wants you to feel like they are accussing you of over-dosing on meds!

 


DX:  Migraines since June, 2006, kidney stones
 
RX:  Daily - Verapamil, Trileptal
PRN:  Relpax, Prednisone, Dilaudid, Lortab, Lidocaine Nasal Spray


kymark
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 5/29/2007 4:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Sailmonii34,

I've been suffering from chronic daily headaches for 18 years (I can remember the exact day they started). I want to reiterate what others have said about rebound headache caused by taking painkillers too often. The worst my headaches have ever been was when I took Advil or other over-the-counter pain relievers on a daily or every other day basis. Once I stopped that, the pain got less severe (but not really less frequent). This happened even though I never took Advil etc. at over the levels recommended on the label. My neurologist recommends I take pain killers no more often than 2 days per week. It can be difficult to not take a pill when the pain is there, but it's worth it to avoid going back into that rebound headache condition.

Rather than focusing on stopping the pain, you'd be better off exploring preventative medicines. To do this effectively, you should try to find a headache specialist to help you -- someone who knows all the options and various combinations thereof.

Although I don't have migraines (no auras, nausea, sensitivity to light, etc), the drugs which my neurologist tries with me are the same as you'll see discussed on this forum as migraine meds. As I understand it, most headache docs and researchers think most headaches are related and thus respond to similar therapies.

Best of luck finding what works for you!

ndb
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/29/2007 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
kymark,
When you say chronic daily headaches, what exactly are your headache symptoms? Have you not been able to get them under control at all in the last 18 years?

korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 5/29/2007 10:15 AM (GMT -7)   
kymark said...
Sailmonii34,

I've been suffering from chronic daily headaches for 18 years (I can remember the exact day they started).

Although I don't have migraines (no auras, nausea, sensitivity to light, etc), the drugs which my neurologist tries with me are the same as you'll see discussed on this forum as migraine meds. As I understand it, most headache docs and researchers think most headaches are related and thus respond to similar therapies.
This actually sounds like a case of "new daily persistent headache," which is what I also suffer from.  The qualifications for it are outlined as: 
 
A. Headache for >3 mo fulfilling criteria B-D
B. Headache is daily and unremitting from onset or from <3 d from onset
C. At least two of the following pain characteristics:
  1. bilateral location
  2. pressing/tightening (non-pulsating) quality
  3. mild or moderate intensity
  4. not aggravated by routine physical activity
D. Both of the following:
  1. not >1 of photophobia, phonophobia or mild nausea
  2. neither moderate or severe nausea nor vomiting
E. Not attributed to another disorder
 
It's known for it's sufferers to commonly remember the exact day in which they started (after which or soon after which they become unremitting).  Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, it's also known as one of the most resistent to treatment of all of the headache classes.
 
A good summary site is: http://headaches.about.com/od/otherheadpain/a/ndph.htm


DX: NDPH, Bipolar 2, Recovered CRPS
RX: Zonegran, Lamictal, Minocyclin, Abilify, Cymbalta, Wellbutrin, Provigil, Clonazepam, Rozerem
PRN: DHE IM, Droperidol IM, Toradol IM, Haloperidol, Zyprexa, Thorazine, Zofran

Post Edited (korbnep) : 5/29/2007 11:25:02 AM (GMT-6)


sylvie74
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 443
   Posted 5/29/2007 12:53 PM (GMT -7)   
korbnep, thanks for that link. I've been dealing with chronic headaches myself, for many years. It's always worse in the summer, when the sun is intense. I have to wear headaches to help ward them off. And bright lights indoors aren't much better. If they hit me just right- shining down from overhead- that is a real problem for me. There are many times where I feel nausea, and have actually thrown up on one occasion. But generally they don't reach that point. I try not to take tylenol unless I absolutely have to. I was not sure if this was just migraines or what. None of my doctors seems to have any clue. LOL
(undiagnosed) chronic pain, for nearly 10 yrs and counting..


kymark
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 5/29/2007 11:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I think the latest name for my headache type is "new daily persistent headache" -- I laughed when my doctor used that phrase -- something about 18 year long headaches being "new" struck me as odd! But the description you've posted, and what I've read elsewhere, fits pretty much exactly with my headaches. The only difference is that often, onset of NDPH is associated with a virus or cold-like infection. Mine started on a backpacking trip --- woke up in the morning after a hard hike with a heavy pack with a headache that has yet to go away. I assumed I just wrenched my neck (lots of neck and shoulder tension accompanies my head pain). Lots of pressure, dull pain esp. in the temples, but usually only moderate in intensity. I also have a family history of headaches (mom and sister have had migraines for years -- my mom for 40 years or so). That's why the "most headache types are related" theory rings true with me.

Various meds have helped for awhile, particularly Topamax, Neurontin, and amitriptyline. The amitripyline has been the most effective long term, but it only reduces the severity of the pain. I'm trying Lyrica, along with amitriptyline, now but am less than impressed so far. I've tried most every class of headache medicine, along with most non-traditional remedies. My current neurologist, who is fantastic, wants to go back to some of the meds I've tried in the past, many of which I may not have stayed on for the 3 months or so that may be needed for full effect.

While these headaches are incredibly persistent, I'm lucky they're not debilitating. My heart goes out to people who simply can't function due to their pain. I've only had one or two "classic migraines" and I can't imagine having such agony on a daily basis.

baseballmomof3
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 189
   Posted 5/30/2007 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   

kymark:  Hope you head gets better.  I just want to thank for saying that you don't know how migraine folks do it.  I keep trying to explain to my family and friends that unless you have had an actual migraine, you have no idea what they are like.  Migraines are not "just a headache" - this is what most people assume they are.  They are truly debillitating (at least for me). 

Thanks so much and feel better!


DX:  Migraines since June, 2006, kidney stones
 
RX:  Daily - Verapamil, Trileptal
PRN:  Relpax, Prednisone, Dilaudid, Lortab, Lidocaine Nasal Spray


ndb
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/30/2007 11:20 AM (GMT -7)   
"just a headache" can also be debilitating. Just ask us who suffer from the 24/7 constant pressure of chronic headaches!!

kymark
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 5/30/2007 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
NDB,

I should have said my headaches USUALLY aren't debilitating, but I get incapacitating pain for a two day stretch or so every couple of weeks. The daily pain is usually such that I can get through my "required" activities, but any mental concentration is a real challenge (and I'm an academic, so that's a problem). At times I think I'd trade the constant pain for more sporadic severe pain -- it would be wonderful to have a day or two without any pain. But we don't get to make that choice, do we?!!

korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 5/30/2007 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
From what I understand of NDPH, it's often only the base of a head problem.  For instance, I'm in constant moderate to upper-moderate pain, but frequently, I have headache flares that have the symptoms of true migraines.  So, daily, for the most part, it's just pain and medication side effects, but often I do get the severe nausea, photophobia, phonophobia, stabbing pain, etc. 
 
And 'just a headache', even if it doesn't go into migraine territory, isn't 'just a headache' when it's 24/7.
DX: NDPH, Bipolar 2, Recovered CRPS
RX: Zonegran, Lamictal, Minocyclin, Abilify, Cymbalta, Wellbutrin, Provigil, Clonazepam, Rozerem
PRN: DHE IM, Droperidol IM, Toradol IM, Haloperidol, Zyprexa, Thorazine, Zofran


baseballmomof3
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 189
   Posted 5/30/2007 11:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Sorry to all of you that I have offended - this is the problem with typed responses.  I certainly did not mean that constant headaches are not bad or debillitating.  I stand very corrected.  I actually cannot imagine having headaches 24/7.  I actually was talking about when people who occassionally have a headache that they are still able to function, live, laugh, etc. with cannot understand why I am lying in bed for days, vomiting, in the dark with pain and can't even get up to take care of my children.  Then, they certainly don't understand why a day or two before and then certainly days afterwards, I am still not myself.  Please forgive me if I offended you.
 
Here's hoping all of us are without any head pain today!
DX:  Migraines since June, 2006, kidney stones
 
RX:  Daily - Verapamil, Trileptal
PRN:  Relpax, Prednisone, Dilaudid, Lortab, Lidocaine Nasal Spray


korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 5/30/2007 1:49 PM (GMT -7)   
You, at least, didn't offend me, but thanks :)
DX: NDPH, Bipolar 2, Recovered CRPS
RX: Zonegran, Lamictal, Minocyclin, Abilify, Cymbalta, Wellbutrin, Provigil, Clonazepam, Rozerem
PRN: DHE IM, Droperidol IM, Toradol IM, Haloperidol, Zyprexa, Thorazine, Zofran


ndb
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/31/2007 8:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I dont know if this has any correlation, but I find that every morning when I drink coffee, my tension seems to subside some. Maybe it is just masking the headache, but it is definitely not as intense. Still there, but not as intense.

Also,
I find it hard to believe that tension-type headaches wouldnt get worse with physical activity. My head pressure becomes unbearable when lifting weights or running.

If Topamax is really for "migraines", is it a waste of time for me to be giving it a try? My doctor doesnt want to try Elavil (amitriptyline) because of the side effects, but I would think it would have the best shot at helping.

Although after reading through the internet, it doesnt seem like any drugs really help people with chronic daily head problems.

kymark
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 5/31/2007 1:23 PM (GMT -7)   
ndb,

Caffeine definitely helps my headaches -- they even put it in Fioricet, a pain reliever lots of headache sufferers use (it's my sole abortive med).

I don't know about the physical activity -- I hate exercising (!), but it doesn't worsen my headaches unless I've got a severe one.

Although meds like topamax are primarily used for migraine, it goes back to my earlier comment about most headache types being related. In fact, researchers don't really know why these meds help any headache -- it's all trial and error. Neurontin, which like topamax is primarily used for bipolar and related disorders, was very effective for me for awhile, but then the effectiveness wore off (like with everything that's helped much). With the sole exception of elavil, which definitely lessens my daily pain levels.

Elavil- the only side effects I've suffered are weight gain (pretty significant at higher doses, not bad at my current dose of 25 mg per day) and sleepiness. When I tried quitting the elavil completely, my headaches got noticeably worse and I had some trouble sleeping. I would never take it any time than at night, since it really knocks me out.

I think chronic/NDPH are so less common than migraines that doctors and researchers put a lot less research attention into them. Most of the time, my doctor is trying things that have been proven clinically to help migraines that she thinks may help my headaches.

Mark

ndb
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/1/2007 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Mark,
What are your exact symptoms?

I tell you what really bothers me is that my headaches almost went away (I have no idea how), but then I was going through another very stressful time in my life, and they started again. I swear stress has to be playing a part, but I dont know if it can lead to constant headaches or not.

Have you ever heard of anyone who magaed to get rid of their chronic headaches/tension-type/NDPH??

dodger1
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/1/2007 1:49 PM (GMT -7)   
has anyone ever tried putting ice packs on their head. it works for me.

Kassidy
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 6/4/2007 12:16 AM (GMT -7)   
   
    In answer to Dodger1, I have tried ice packs and it hasn't worked for me, but it's a good suggestion.  This is my first time posting on a message board, but this topic dominates my life right now, especially the question of does anyone ever get well.  I know the exact date and hour my headache started, and I had no relief for 1 year and 3 months (except to sleep, and that was because the doctors gave me high doses of klonopin to sleep- it knocked me out.) The pain started again soon after I got out out bed.  I hardly left the house during that period of time; only when necessary.  No ordinary pain or migraine drugs worked at all on this headache; not even narcotics.
     My neurologist has tried me on several different combinations of drugs to get rid of this pain.  Right now I take Lyrica (which I think was the real break through medicine), depakote, topamax, Klonopin and verapamil. Sometimes I go several weeks without pain; right now I have had pain every day for the past two weeks.  But its mostly in the later part of the day and not as severe as before.  These drugs do have side effects,  I have gained MAJOR weight, have difficult name recall problems (could not remember my half-brothers last name) and am not near as articulate as I used to be.  I am very fortunate that I do not have to work (I'm a stay at home mom right now) because I couldn't work now.  I have had this headache 2 1/2 years, and I'd like to hear that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  
One last comment for now- these was a lot of discussion about Topomax.  My doctor had to lower my dose because I was hallucinating and zoning out while driving.  So be careful with it!  Kassidy  

kymark
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 6/4/2007 6:58 AM (GMT -7)   
nbd,

I nearly always feel pressure in my head, even if it isn't full-blown pain. The muscles at the base of my skull are generally tight. That's one reason I've tried lots of chiropractic, massage, physical therapy, etc. I've come to believe, however, that the muscle tension is more a symptom than a cause of the headaches.

As my headaches worsen, I feel painful pressure, particularly in the temples. At times, it feels almost as if my head will burst. My temples will get very tender to the touch in more severe headaches. Simply lying down and taking the weight of my head off my neck and shoulders sometimes helps -- I find I need to do this pretty much every day when I get home from work for 30 minutes or so. If the headache is really bad, nothing stops it and it will last 2-3 days.

For more moderate headaches and to stop one from developing into full force, I take Fioricet, a muscle relaxant. Other relaxants have not been as effective for me, and the Fioricet is hit and miss.

I don't know any other NDPH sufferers, nor do I know of anyone "cured". I've come to accept the fact that these headaches are a part of me, and my best bet is to manage them. I've been disappointed by too many so-called cures to keep hoping for one. Rather than this being a defeatist attitude, I find it makes it easier for me to keep on living my life without letting the headaches dominate everything I do. I've learned to work through all but the worst pain.

The most predictable triggers for more serious pain episodes are poor sleep (that's why the amitryptiline is so helpful, I think), storm fronts coming through, and alcohol. Even one beer will generally increase my pain the next day. I've never been much of a drinker, but I would like to be able to share a bottle of wine with my wife on our anniversary, at least (actually, that's about the only time I ever drink, figuring the pain is worth it -- my wife has put up with these headaches almost as long as I have!)

I'm not sure what the role of stress is, either. I know that I often have headaches when I'm under little or no stress, and have gone through very stressful periods in my life with no noticeable increase in pain. However, if the stress keeps me from sleeping, I'm in trouble!

One of the really interesting things I've discovered is that if there's something I HAVE to do, adrenaline usually kicks in and I just don't notice the headache. When I teach a class or am working to meet a deadline, I can generally push the pain to the back of my mind and focus on what needs doing. Afterwards, the pain is often really severe, but I've gotten done what needs doing. I can't do that every day, however, (I'm a college teacher and don't teach daily).

Well, this is probably more than you really wanted to know. Sorry I went on so long!

Mark

Keli927
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 6/4/2007 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   
hi there - i have been getting weird headaches for the past 3 weeks now. i used to just get sinus headaches in the forehead and face. but now it hurts on back of head, top of head, sides, forehead, neck, shoulders. basically everywhere. it feels like pressure - someone pulling my hair or i might get a quick ache in an area then it will jump to another area. its not debilitating. but its still worrisome. ive been having panic attacks too and have been afraid of an aneurysm. i was just put back on zoloft 2 weeks ago. so im not sure if this is side effects of the med either. also im 18 weeks pregnant. i just feel so weird. i want these head feelings to go away and i want to feel normal. my eyes also feel weird. and i get tingling sensations on head, ears, and face.

ndb
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/5/2007 9:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Kymark,
       Can I email you sometime?  You are one of the few people I have found that suffers from something similar to me, and I have some more questions for you.

Kassidy
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 6/5/2007 12:28 PM (GMT -7)   
  1.  To Kymark and ndb- I understand that you may want to talk personally, but I look forward to hearing as much of your discussion as possible on line.  Kymark- here's what I have in common with you:
1)  I often have tightness at the back of my skull.  I find myself rubbing my neck a lot, and often lying down for 30 minutes to take the weight of my head off my body will help some.
2)  Storms are a good predictor of a worse headache.
3)  Neurontin worked for me for about 3 months and then just stopped.
4)  Mental concentration is a real challenge.  I have a masters degree but I went the first year and 3 months (the period of no relief) without ever picking up a book.  When the pain is bad it seems to push out the ability to think.  I can't do elementary math. 
5)  I know exactly (to the hour) when the headache started.  At first I thought I was coming down with the flu.
6)  During most of my headache I have had that constant background pressure, even when I don't have actual pain.  Right now I go for periods without that.
    Other symptoms include worsening of my headache when I'm in the hot sun, and when I try to do any kind of exercise involving putting my head down (like toe-touching). Right now I'm not exercising at all.  Look a couple posts back for the rest of my symptoms and headache history.
     To Keli927- Better get your doctor to check out those headaches, especially since you are pregnant!                                                                          Kassidy
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