Types of Headache: Chronic Headache


When the pain refuses to leave you and your day-to-day activities might get affected, it turns into quite an annoying situation. Hence, it is important to identify it and take the necessary treatment for it at the earliest.

Basically, chronic headaches can be divided into two categories - primary and secondary.

  Primary chronic headache is when the headache itself is a disorder and needs to be treated. However, if an underlying disease is present, it might manifest itself in the form of a secondary chronic headache. Some of the causes for secondary chronic headache can be whiplash injury, arthritis of neck bones, arthritis of the jaw joints, sinus, tumors or breathing problems during sleep. In this case, it is important to treat the underlying cause which, would then lead to a cessation of the chronic headaches as well.

An estimated 45 million Americans are the victims of migraine. The global numbers add up to a frightening figure with this disease affecting about 3 – 5 % of the global population leading to loss of important and numerous working hours.

Primary Chronic headaches may be further categorized into two as chronic tension or chronic migraines.

In the chronic-tension type headache, the left and right sides of the head are affected equally. The back and the neck may also be involved. Sometimes, the pain may travel to the front of the head as well. Although these headaches may be mild to moderate in intensity, yet the constant throbbing may leave you feeling totally rotten and drained out. A piece of consolation for the victims is that this type of headache does not usually worsen with exertion. Nor is there any extra sensitivity to light and sound. Nausea is also not an accompaniment as it is with the common type of migraine.

On the other hand, we have chronic migraines, which are more problematic as they worsen with exertion. The patient also becomes sensitive to light and sound and experiences nausea as well. Lasting  from 4 hours to as long as 72 hours, they are a constant source of trouble to the sufferer, as these symptoms affect the sufferer for majority of the days in a month.

This migraine pain is experienced only on one side of the head, may be moderate to severe and have a pulsating quality. There are some unfortunate souls for whom this headache has become a constant companion, occurring in a more continuous, never-ending pattern, rather than for about 15 days a month. It is more prevalent in those who have previously had episodes of distinct, individual migraine attacks. This has also been termed by some scientists and researchers as ‘transformed migraine’. Whether suffering from primary, secondary, chronic tension or chronic migraine, treatment for all is required. You need to consult a doctor for identifying the type of headache you are suffering from and the treatment you need to take for it. Please do not try self medication as it could be extremely dangerous.