Feature Article

Chronic migraine and other types of chronic daily headache

Richard Stark, Elspeth Hutton
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Chronic daily headache is a common and disabling condition. It is usually due to primary headache, most often migraine, but other causes must be kept in mind. A simple approach to diagnosis is required.

Key Points

  • Chronic daily headache is a common condition.
  • Establishing the presence of chronic daily headache requires documentation of more than 15 days per month of prolonged headache (lasting more than four hours).
  • Most cases of chronic daily headache are due to primary headache, but other causes such as structural lesions must be considered; most cases of primary headache that are troublesome are due to chronic migraine.
  • Treatments for patients with chronic migraine are now available.
  • Medication overuse is a common complication of headache treatment and makes successful treatment more difficult.