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Anyone else have daily, constant, head pain?

I have a headache literally every day. IDK when the pain went from infrequent to daily, but I think I've been having migraines for at least 10 years.

Chronic migraine

At some point, it definitely changed from episodic to chronic. But my chronic means I literally have head pain from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep. The pain is usually a tension-type pressure in my forehead or the top of my head, and the pain is generally on the mild and manageable side. But I'll have days and weeks where the pain is more intense. And I'll also have actual migraine pain, too, with the sound and light sensitivity, at least 4 times a month.

Daily pain & treatment options

I just usually read about chronic migraine as being migraine pain itself. Anyone else dealing with this mild but daily kind of pain that sometimes spikes into migraine pain? What do you do to deal with it? I've had the three rounds of botox - it literally didn't affect me in any way. I've had the three rounds of aimovig - also no effect whatsoever, except for constipation and stomach pain. The only thing that ever really works is the abortive medicines - sumatriptan, ubrelvy, and reyvow - which I only take when I'm having a bad migraine, and I need to be doing something (because I don't want to be taking these medicines every single day). But those two take about an hour to two hours to kick in and don't always last longer than 2-3 hours. And they don't completely get rid of the pain. They just transform the sharp migraine pain into a more manageable tension-type pain.

Any thoughts, advice, and especially letting me know I'm not alone would be greatly appreciated!

  1. Hi ,

    Thank you for sharing your migraine journey with us. Living with daily head pain is frustrating and downright exhausting. You're definitively not alone!

    Migraine pain can range from mild to severely debilitating and episodic migraine can transform into chronic migraine fairly quickly if not treated appropriately, I'm sorry to say. When we have three or four migraine attacks a month, it's time to discuss migraine prevention with the doctor, which may mean a daily medication, but that doesn't mean the will need to be taken forever. I understand not wanting to take daily medications, having said that some disease states require this. Migraine is thought to be a genetic, neurological disease that can be episodic or chronic and pretty much everything in-between. Don't lose hope - there are over 100 medications, supplements, devices and complementary therapies that can be used to treat migraine disease!

    It's possible for tension-type headache to trigger a migraine attack, it sure has for me. Here is a good article on tension-type headache and migraine; https://migraine.com/migraine-types/tension-migraine/.

    We can also increase our risk of rebound headache (medication overuse headache) if we take pain relievers and/or acute migraine medications, whether they are over-the-counter or prescription, more than two to three days a week. If we are in a rebound cycle, our migraine attacks may be more difficult to treat and we can end up in a daily cycle of pain that is tough to treat. I actually threw myself into a rebound cycle from caffeine! Caffeine (stimulant) can either be helpful for migraine or troublesome. There is a small subset of people with migraine disease who this applies to, myself included. I'm able to have one cup of coffee a day without issue. If I have two or more cups on consecutive days, I will run into rebound 🙁.

    I'll stop for now as I've given you a loads of information!

    Please let me know what you think and I hope you have a good day!
    Nancy Harris Bonk Patient Advocate/Moderator

    1. Thank you! This was really helpful. Researching mixed tension migraine has really made me feel less alone.


  2. Don't know if the site frowns on posting the same response to more than one discussion. I just posted this under a different thread, but I came on this site this morning to share what I've learned and want to get the word out in the hopes it can help someone.

    If your headache is one-sided and doesn't change sides, the following might help.
    My experience:
    I'm 53. My pain has been constant on the left side of my head, generally between '3' and '6' on a 10-point scale since June of 2019. This followed nearly a decade where I'd rate the symptoms at '1' - I knew something was off, but it wasn't really interfering with daily life. At the end of my last appointment with my headache specialist in January, she had nothing new to offer. I'm a chemist by profession, so was content (At least as content as one can be while experiencing daily pain.) applying the scientific method and experimenting with all the standard treatments, but the idea that I'd just be stuck with this wasn't acceptable.
    Following that January meeting I resumed reading - it had been a while since I found anything about migraine I hadn't seen before. In early March, I stumbled across "Hemicrania Continua" under 'other headaches' at the end of a paper. Just as the name says it's a half-the-head-continuous-headache.
    When you Google Hemicrania Continua (HC) you'll find it's been a recognized condition for decades, but most neurologists consider it to be very rare, which might explain why they don't test for it more often. The test is so easy - one of, if not 'the', diagnostic features of HC is that it UNIVERSALLY responds to an anti-inflammatory called Indomethacin.
    HC is commonly misdiagnosed. The reported median time for proper diagnosis varies depending on the source but is in the ballpark of 8 +/- 7 years.
    I took my learnings to my primary care doc. She gave me a trial prescription of Indo last week. We're still working on the dosage, but I've experienced a 90% reduction in my pain at a dose of 225 mg / day. The reading I've done indicates that up to 300 mg / day may be needed for full relief for a month or two, and then most people can reduce the dose and find what is needed to keep the headache at bay.


    I can't fathom why, when visited by someone describing daily, one-sided pain, doctors don't do a simple trial of Indomethacin. In my case they didn't blink at running through the (at least) ten medications they most commonly prescribe for migraine.
    Best wishes to you and everyone dealing with daily headache. I hope this puts at least one person on the path to relief.

    1. Generally we want to keep repeat posts at a minimum -- I will let this one stay. 😀 In the future, feel free to share a link to your original post. The only time it really becomes an issue is when it's posted in many different places. You don't want to look like a spammer! Hope that clarifies. Take care. -Melissa, migraine.com team

    2. thank you for sharing!

  3. you are not alone. I had tried many different treatments but nothing worked until someone mentioned to me about trigger point injections. The dr basically finds the tense and tight spots on your neck and shoulders and then injects a small about of lidocane(freezing) in to those spots. I have been going once a week and the migraines are slowly settling down. I suggest you talk to yoir dr to see if he/she does the shots or can refer you do someone who does do them. Good luck and remember your not alone

    1. thank you for sharing!

  4. definitely good to hear you say stuff like that as sometimes I first felt I wasn’t suffering from migraine as I thought that had to be really bad more just daily head pain and tho it was mild it still has big impact on life. I usually have 1 bad day in bed then 4 days of mild - moderate headaches then repeats before I got diagnosed and put on preventative meds. Sounds like maybe you have the same. I think it’s hard to deal with. Triptans don’t seem to work for me. Did you try any preventing meds from the doctors

    1. uugh, it's exhausting, isn't it? I currently am re-working some meds and it's just plain tiresome. My doctor made a bunch of med changes and they have been going poorly, yet I cannot get a hold of the doctor (they just returned from vacation). Makes you want to throw in the towel. It's a lot of work to feel better when you have to do the work when you are feeling so poorly, you know what I mean? Thanks for your comment. ~Melanie (team member)

    2. just seen that’s on trial in uk. I’m in uk.Well having a review with doctor and considering trying another preventative med. good luck & thanks

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