Most people suffer from occasional headaches. Whether you’re congested, hungover, over-caffeinated or simply tired, chances are your headache is temporary and can be easily treated with an over-the-counter pain killer or sleep.
But if headaches are a regular occurrence in your life and you cannot pinpoint the cause, your condition might be chronic and require medical intervention.
What Is a Chronic Headache?
You might be experiencing a chronic headache if the pain occurs 15 or more days per month for at least three months. People of all ages and backgrounds are susceptible to chronic headaches; however, the condition is more prevalent in those who suffer from the following:
- Head trauma
- Chronic back pain
- Sleep apnea
It is also worth noting that a chronic headache belongs to the category of primary headaches. This means the pain is not caused by another condition. Conversely, a secondary headache is a symptom of an underlying and sometimes dangerous condition such as a concussion, brain tumor, dehydration, the flu or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Types of Chronic Headaches
Triggers for migraine sufferers may include environmental factors, diet or stress. Symptoms frequently include a throbbing headache of varying intensity, often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. There are two types of migraines: episodic and chronic. While the former occur sporadically and are followed by extended periods of no pain, they can ultimately become chronic.
Chronic Post-Traumatic Headache
A post-traumatic headache develops in people who have suffered some type of head injury. This could be a concussion, skull fracture or a contusion. Many post-traumatic headaches don’t last past a few months post injury. If you experience persistent headaches and you have a history of head injury you may be suffering from a chronic post-traumatic headache.
Continuous headache, also known as hemicrania continua, is less common than the other types of chronic headaches. What distinguishes this type of headache from others is continuous pain centered on only one side of the head. Symptoms can also include a runny nose or congestion on the same side of the head as the pain.
Chronic Tension-Type Headache
Like migraines, these headaches often start out as episodic and gradually develop into chronic occurrences. The pain is typically mild to moderate. Those suffering from chronic tension-type headaches describe the sensation as squeezing or pressing on both sides of the head or even the whole head.
New Daily Persistent Headache
This hybrid headache includes symptoms of both migraine and tension-type headaches.
The new daily persistent headache is constant and unyielding from the onset. What sets it apart from others is that it strikes unexpectedly and affects people with no headache history.
How to Treat Chronic Headaches
Most people develop a reactive approach to treating headaches. This involves things like taking over-the-counter medication, going for a walk or taking a nap at the onset of their symptoms. While these approaches work just fine if your headache episodes are rare, they do not address the root cause of chronic headaches.
Treating chronic headaches involves a proactive and specialized management plan, such as daily medication, chiropractic care, regular exercise and lifestyle changes.
Contact Optimum Health Rehab in Georgia for Effective Headache Treatment
If your chronic headache is standing between you and a happy and healthy life, consider visiting one of our twelve Georgia chiropractic offices.
Our dedicated team of professionals will work with you to identify the likely culprit behind your chronic headache. We will then develop a customized plan to help you eliminate or better manage your headaches and live a healthy, pain-free life.
We offer a variety of medical and therapeutic options, including injections, therapeutic massages, stretching and chiropractic treatments to deliver you immediate and lasting relief from pain.Blog