398893 tn?1201315707

Chronic Headaches for Years

I have had a headache every day of my life for as long as I can remember,  I am so tired of having a headache at least twice a day if not all day long.  Tylenol helps somtimes but not all the time.  I also get severe migraines and I haven't found anything that help those except a trip to the ER because they get so bad that I cannot stop throwing up and I have to go get a pain/phergan shot.  I have had an MRI done and they say everything looks normal, told me to quit drinking caffine so I did, didn't help, so I thought i might as well drink it since it didn't help not drinking it.  Anyway, Does anyone suffer from something like this or know someone who does and what they have done, if anything, that helps...PLEASE reply...........
10 Responses
Avatar universal

Primary headaches that started as migraines or tension headaches may later on transform into chronic daily headaches. Chronic daily headaches may be due to rebound headaches caused by chronic use of medications ( greater than 3 month use of analgesics for example or migraine specific drugs used at 10 days per month).

I suggest that you have your headache classified by a neurologist.Chronic headaches may require preventive headache therapies aside from abortive therapies provided by triptans.

Do keep us posted regarding your  physician's advise.
Headache for year.Ben to all kinds of doctors no help.pain in face,Ford head,top of head, the whole head
Hi Judy -

What kinds of testing have you had done? Have they been able to give you a diagnosis?

If you haven't yet, please see a neurologist. There is something called a mixed tension migraine, chronic headache, co-existing headache or transformed migraine - meaning that a headache that starts as a migraine can trigger a tension headache, or vice versa, which can result in pain in your whole head. (I have this - it's miserable.) I can't diagnose you with it - I'm not a doctor - but ask your neurologist about it.


One thing that happens to us is that we essentially live on pain meds, which can cause rebound headaches. I KNOW hearing this sucks. I felt it too. I had to stop taking excedrin migraine because I got bleeding ulcers - my pain improved some after that.

I hope this helps. If your current neuro isn't helping, find another. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes helps a lot.

Avatar universal
You really need a full neurological work up but here is my thoughts being one of those constant migraine sufferers myself.

I completely know how you feel about caffeine.  The latest that many doctors go for is caffiene management.  Try to only have some through the day.  Of course, when you wake up but then try to go without it.  Then maybe some at that 3:00pm lull.

OK, then NO CAFFIENE after that.  Try to work out during the earlier part of the day if you can fit it in.  The goal is to be really tired when you go to bed.  You have to find a way to what I call "sleep hard".  If you are listening for your children, or your husband snores, or an on-call beeper - it won't work.  You can ask the doctor about taking something to make you sleep.

I would forget the tylenol or cut down, does Advil or Aleve help.  Those will at least provide an anti-inflammatory reaction to areas causing the problem.  Rebound headache is a real phenomenon but it is also a label that is used when a solution has not been found yet.  You need to go get a real work up by a board certified neurologist.  If you want to try the rebound theory, DHE is a med they use while you are trying to without analgesics.  I am not a fan of triptans unless you try small pill doses before going straight to the injections or acute relief dosage.  Many people have had severe heart issues with them.  But they are a life saver for others.

Again, I am not a doctor but for chronic daily headache or intractable migraine - I like an old tricyclic medication called Elavil (amityptiline sp??)  You may have to work up to maybe 100mg per night (some people respond to 10mg) but it not only modulates pain, it makes you sleep hard.  You have to make sure it doesn't make you sleepy during the day.  I think this is really what the narcotic/phenergen does when you go to the ER.  You go home and sleep hard and the relaxation of the vascular system occurs.  

If you want to research how your sympathetic nervous system works - I truly think that people with chronic daily migraine get their sym. nerv. system turned on and it won't shut down to adequately sleep in a restorative manner.  Now if I could just get some big think tank to give me a couple million to research that. LOL.  Take care and let me know what you find out - your experience can help us all.
Avatar universal

It would be best to consult a neurologist and get a proper clinical examination done.

Do you sleep well? It is important to wlak and exercise daily so taht you sleep well. A warm shower just before bedtime would also help.

If you smoke or drink alcohol - quit them immediately.

Try to limit your caffiene intake to 1 or 2 cups per days and do not take any caffeine 4 - 5 hours before your sleeping time.

Do you ahve any reflux or gastritis symptoms?

Take some OTC pain relief medications till you get to see your doctor. Also ask your doctor if antianxiety medication like alprazolam would help in your case.

Keep us posted.

398893 tn?1201315707
thanks so much for the info,  NO i don't sleep well because of back pain, and also I have 2 small children that still get up at night and I have to be at least half way alert in case something is really wrong at night.
410281 tn?1254229064
I also suffer from"chronic daily headache."  I've had the MRIs, blood work, CT, Spinal Tap, the whole nine yards.  Currently trying Chiropractic even though there's not a lot of hope.  I started getting "migraines" after the birth of my second son.  Just once or twice a year and they would last a few days.  Then in Oct 2006 a got a headache that has only settled down a couple of times since.  I get sharp shooting pains in my head and numbness and tingling in my neck, shoulder area, hands and feet. A neurologist had put me on Nortryptaline (100) and Propanolol (120) as preventative and suggested Aleve for the pain. I did that for six months with no relief.  I currently take nothing except an occassional hydroco when it gets REALLY bad, and that doesn't even take away the pain. I sleep well, but not on a regular schedule because of my job. Still, I have no energy and no ambition for anything. I have recently started having what I think are anxiety attacks because of the pain and the feeling of helplessness and depression is ever lingering because I feel so alone.  

I feel your pain. Don't quit trying to find the answer!
Avatar universal
My headache started as a migraine over 4 yrs ago.  I have been thru chiari malformation decompression surgery 3 yrs ago w no avail. The pain still is there everyday all day. The drs thought I was rebounding from pain meds so I have weined myself down to one a day and suffer thru out the rest of the day. The headache did not change after weining so I know it's not rebound from my meds. I have seen neurosurgeons and they have no answers for me and have released me from their care. I am hoping to start accupunture here within the next few weeks. Somedays the pain is bearable & I'm able to get out of bed but other days I'm in bed w a bucket next to the bed. At all times I'm sensitive to lights and loud noises. I'm unable to hold a job and I'm on disability. I do have a child at home yet and taking care of her...well let's say she does a lot of the care taking.  Due to this illness taking over my life depression has really set in.  Does anyone have an advice or specialist they can refer me to??  Due to my fixed income traveling far may not be possible but I'll try anything in my reach....thx ahead of time...
Miserable in Michigan
Avatar universal
What you do not refer to shows that you haven't had any good medical care with your migraines.  

You should absolutely be tried on a daily preventative migraine medication to prevent migraines.  If one doesn't work, they should try you on another one.  Your doctors should have told you that taking any pain medication, even over the counter drugs at least 3  times a week or more, just causes rebound headaches which perpetuate the headaches.  If you're taking a pain pill every day, then you are still prone to rebound headaches.

If the daily preventative med doesn't work, then you should try Botox injections.

Except with the medications, I wear a Butrans patch which does not cause rebound migraines.  It's new on the market sometime in the past year.  It gives you a very low dose of narcotics 24/7,  Every other narcotic medication has also given me bad side effects that I've just had to tolerate.  And since wearing the higher level of Butrans patch (10 mcg), I have not had to go the ER once.  I used to have to go often.

I don't see anything about you getting nerve block or  trigger point injections which might help you.  

In Michigan, the University of Michigan has excellent neurologists as well as a headache specialist, but that guy has about an 8 month wait list.  Or if you get a referral from your doctor, you might be able to get an appointment at their pain clinic.  That's really the best.

But in any case, get an appointment with either a neurologist or a headache specialist or a pain management specialist.  

Let me know what you find out and get to try.  I wish you the best.


461596 tn?1541008358
Ask your doctor if you can try Amitriptyline (Elavil) daily for pain management.  I've been on it for about 11 years, and it has almost eliminated my migraines.  I went from 6-8 a month, to about 2 a year now.  Plus the generic is only about $4/mth.  It's worth a try.
Avatar universal
Hello there,
what medication have you tried exactly?
Avatar universal
Botox gave me significant help.  Acupuncture gave me amazing help, especially with the 2nd acupuncturist that I tried.  Aimovig, the new preventative migraine medication gave me even more amazing relief together with the acupuncture.  But Aimovig doesn't work for everyone.   (I also wear a low dose Butrans (buprenorphine) patch and get nerve block injections every 4 weeks. )  But I think that I may be able to stop those.  I began with severe 24/7 migraines.
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