It’s normal to experience headaches every now and then. However, frequent headaches that occur 15 days or more in a month could be a sign of a chronic headache. This is an umbrella term that encompasses several types:
Although similar in scope, these headaches have symptoms that differentiate themselves from one another.
Chronic migraines are the most common type of headache. This type often occurs in people with a history of episodic migraines. The symptoms include a severe, throbbing pain that affects one or both sides of the head. Light sensitivity, feelings of nausea and vomiting are associated with these symptoms.
Tension-type headaches are less severe. There is a tightening, pressing feeling on both sides of the head and mild to severe pain. Skull tenderness is also common among people with tension-type headaches.
New daily persistent headaches have a sudden onset, and it can occur in people that do not have a history of headaches. People with this type experience moderate, pressing pain on both sides of the head.
Hemicrania continua describes headaches that affect one side of the head and are daily or continuous with pain-free periods. Feelings of pain are moderate with spikes of severe pain. These symptoms can become worse over time but respond well to the pain reliever Indocin.
Chronic headaches can be properly treated with over-the-counter medication. However, you should see a doctor when:
You should seek immediate medical care if:
At Pain & Spine Center of Charlottesville, we provide treatment options including injections and nerve blocks for patients suffering from chronic headaches. Call us today at 434-328-2774 to schedule your appointment!