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Hope this can help some of you..

Im a 26 year old active male and I started suffering with chronic tension type headaches shortly after moving into my first house in November 2015.
At first after a quick google I convinced myself I was suffering with sinusitis, so each and everyday I was taking painkillers mainly paracetamol and ibuprofen also various different nasals sprays.

After 2/3 weeks of no improvement I booked my first appointment with my GP who just put it down as a general headache which will subside eventually and I left with a prescription for ibuprofen even though my bathroom drawers were already stuffed full of painkillers.

So few more weeks went by and these boring/dull headaches didn’t show any signs of stopping. This is were I began to worry that it was more sinister (therefore making the whole situation and my headaches 10x worse) some days I would google myself into a mess and really couldn’t be bothered trying to get the best out of my day.

After probably 8 weeks I booked my second GP appointment who booked me in for an MRI, as I explained they had worsened, (which I now believe was from the over use of painkillers and caffiene) he also told me to get my boiler checked over for carbon monoxide so it would rule out my house was causing it, as it was a coincidence my headaches started only a few weeks since I moved in. Boiler was fine.

Fast forward 8/9 weeks of worry, pain, stress, depression I had my MRI scan.
It came back all clear. Good news, but also annoying that there was not going to be any easy way getting to the bottom of what was causing these headaches. I was prescribed amitriptyline.

I kept with my GP until trying different drugs mainly amatriptyline and propanoI until I had a breakdown in work and my family arranged for my to see a headache specialist privately, this was around the 5/6 month time.

I now began to realise that I’d have to knuckle down and try and get rid of these headaches on my own with my own research.

First specialist I seen, straight away first thing he said was to completely stop taking any painkillers/drugs and completely cut out caffiene, including decaff drinks and chocolate. As this would be interfering with the drugs working.

I came off caffeine and all my painkillers and prescription drugs for 2 weeks and it was horrendous then I had to start my amitriptyline from a fresh, bare in mind these drugs were stopping me from going to the gym regularly, making me drowsy and tired but worst of all they weren’t working.

Fast forward a year and I went to see a second specialist, I was starting to think now it’s just about making my way through a long list of strong prescription drugs to find one that would work. I didn’t want this.

I took a lot from the meeting with the second specialist and asked a lot more questions. And he gave me good information that would help me on my way, including information on a machine called cefaly, have a google and YouTube it, it helped me wonders.

So for the last 3 months I’ve been completely headache free purely by following most these steps I haven’t been taking any prescription drugs as I just didn’t like the side effects.

- Cut out the painkillers. Avoid overuse.
- absolutely no caffeine at all including de caffeinated beverages and chocolate. Coca Cola lucozade worst culprits. I often drank herbal teas and Fanta/sprite.
- Drink a minimum of 3L of water a day. Everyday. 500ml before bed also when you feel a strong headache coming on.
- Slow carbohydrates throughout the day, always start the day off with 500ml of water and a big bowl of porridge, always.
- Bananas. Eat bananas.
- Take vitamin b12 and magnesium (but be consistent keep taking them as these will take a while to get going)
- See a chiropractor. Rule out there’s nothing going on with your posture/neck muscles. (Quite commonly associated with chronicle headache)
- Food intolerances. Check your not eating foods your intolerant to, but these often come with more side effects not just headache.
- Get up and go to sleep at the same time everyday. Absolutely no lie ins.
- Try and exercise regularly. Sometimes you don’t feel like it but just try.
- Stress. Easier said then done but try and stay as relaxed and stress free as you can, you need to convince yourself that your chronic headaches will go eventually whether it’s 5 weeks or 5 months because eventually they will subside.
- White tiger balm. Available on amazon fantastic stuff when headaches are becoming a bit too much it does relieve stress.
- Cefaly machine. Again another great tool for pain relief completely side effect free, costly but it’s worth it.
- Headache smoothies. Dark leafy greens, celery, ginger, lemon and pineapple and cucumber. One a day.
- Last but not least and probably most important is positive mental attitude. Be patient, if you’ve had all your checks and scans and everything is fine, and you have been diagnosed with chronic headache. They will go. Don’t let the bad days get you down. If you ever have a good day where the headaches aren’t as bad. Remember it. As when your in the middle of a bad day, tell yourself don’t worry one of those ‘good days’ is just around the corner.

  1. Hi rhysyd,

    That's terrific!! I love hearing success stories.

    Thank you for sharing your tips with us, I'm sure others will be along to read them as well.

    Happy New Year,

    1. Hi Rhysyd,

      Thanks for the positive message. I am a 39 year old male who is suffering with chronic daily headache. About 11 years ago I went through a similar experience with headaches but subsided after about 3 months and since then I have been prone to a headache or lightheaded feeling every now and again but generally good and headache free daily.
      Unfortunately 5 weeks ago things went down hill for me again - I had a dizzy attack one night that lasted a few hours, when it passed I was left with a lightheaded feeling. A visit to the GP followed where I was advised I had had vertigo but nothing serious. Every day since I have not been 100% and have been suffering with a daily headache - I would describe this as a tension headache or mild migraine, I say mild because it is not painful enough that it stops me from going about my day to day tasks but is unwanted never the less! It feels like the vanes in the side of my head are pressurised with a dull ache across the top of my eyes - I have been feeling more tied in the mornings but extra sleep does not help at all! It’s at its best when I am sat or layed down but as soon as I get up and start moving around it quickly comes back. I have been trying to remember what I did 11 years ago, I know I had multiple trips for actupunture treatment but do not recall this helping - I saw a neurologist who confirmed that there was nothing bad going on and I also had an MRI scan and my conclusion is that 21 years ago it just finally went on it’s own but I wish I could pinpoint the time that the headache left me so I could repeat that success again now.So this time around I believe my GP when told nothing bad is happening and it is a case of chronic daily headache. My problem is that although I except what it is I still long to feel normal again. I am going to follow some of your suggestions to try and beat this! After taking ibuprofen and paracetamol every day for the last 5 weeks I am now going to try and manage without - today being the first day , to be honest I don’t think they were helping much anyway.
      Thanks again for your story

      1. Hi ciderman,

        Thank you for sharing your difficult journey with us. Chronic daily head pain is exhausting and frustrating, I'm sorry you are going through this.

        As tough as it may be, stopping over-the-counter medications and/or pain medications may be necessary to help stop daily head pain. Rebound headache can be a real issue for some of us. Here is information on rebound headache I hope helps;

        Please keep us posted on how you are doing,

        1. Hi Nancy,

          Thanks for your message- I will take a look at the link you provided and will definitely provide updates on my progress

      2. Looking forward to it, ciderman!!


        1. Hi Nancy,

          I just saw this forum pop up on my email tonight and thought to myself - I wonder if Nancy is still on this site, so decided to check. I cannot believe that it was 2 years ago that I posted on here!

          Well my update as follows: I continued to suffer with my daily headache for a few months after posting on here - I saw a specialist and had an MRI scan and as suspected nothing bad or serious was going on. So I took a few actions myself. Number 1, I started to see a chiropractor who found some pressure points in my shoulders which seemed to link directly to where my headache was, the treatment eased things a little bit was the complete answer but would recommend for people with chronic tension headaches to give this type of treatment a go as it can help. Number 2: I stopped overthinking my sleeping patterns - I had been advised that too little sleep can be a trigger , I was also advised that too much sleep can be a trigger - as you can imagine I was a bit lost with this conflicting info so I reverted back to sleeping patterns that I typically had throughout my life. 7.5 hours per night is what I normally would have so went back to this 7 days a week. On the weekends if I went to bed later I just got up later, simple as that. Number 3: reduced over the counter pain killers! Instead of taking 2 pills at a time I tried taking just one first and another if I had too... I started to track my pill intake each day and at the end of the month recorded the amount that I had taken and looked at what my average intake per day was for the month. I do appreciate that some people simply cannot do with out but for people with chronic tension headaches they might find that pain killers don’t really do much anyway and it is all too easy to just start taking them out of habit. Also over using pain killers might be part of the problem and if someone is taking pills every day I would suggest talking to their GP about this as well as the headaches them selves. So after 5 months of tracking I managed to reduce my average daily pill intake from 6 pills to just one! and as I say this is an average so there were many days when I didn’t take any at all. At the same time I accepted what the Doctors were telling me about inner stress I.e worrying about it will just keep the headache there each day, now to be clear you can’t just say right I won’t worry or think about this headache anymore - its obviously not that simple but what I did do was “as I say” accept it and just get on with the my life , learning how to live with it. Number 4: I stopped drinking alcohol, when I say stopped I mean that I have a drink now and again but not regular at all. I can easily go a month without having a drink.
          So after doing these 4 simple things my daily headache passed after 6 months - it lasted about 7 months in total. Today I write this headache free! I do get the odd tension headache now and again but nothing that concerns me. My pain killer intake now is no more than about 6 pills a month, much better than the 6 plus a day I was taking. My last bit of advice is to drink plenty of water and exercise regularly even if that is just going for a walk. Accept what is happening , like any issue acceptance is the start to recovery. I wish anyone suffering from any type of headache all the best!!!!

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