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Chronic daily headache

by Kathy
(Chicago)

I have a 17 teen year old daughter that has been diagnosed with chronic daily headaches. She has had headaches for 7 months. Most of the time they are severe, but sometimes they are moderate. She always has a headache.

She has tried multiple meds, sometimes taken off due to side effects and sometimes because they simply don't work. She is also seeing a therapist. We have tried neurofeed back also. Do you have a suggestion of where to take her for a fresh look at her headaches. We are willing to travel anywhere.

Kathy

Answer:



Hi Kathy,

With most teens it is very important to look at lifestyle and make those lifestyle changes that really help with headaches. In fact, because their brains are still growing, these changes have a faster effect on the teens than on adults. Although boys can grow out of their headaches, unfortunately, girls usually don't.

The Diamond Headache Center is in Chicago and if you haven't been there I would advise it. I met Dr. Merle Diamond (Dr. Seymour Diamond's daughter)years ago and she is very nice. They have the ability to do infusions for her to get the cycle of pain stopped. The Mayo Clinic also has an excellent headache center.

CDH or chronic daily headache can have many causes including status migrainosus, and neck pain. Therefore, everything has to be taken into account.

I am glad she has tried neurofeedback, you might also want to consider acupuncture which has been shown to help in migraine.

Good luck, hope she feels better soon.
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C



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Chronic headache

by Angie
(Flint, MI )

Chronic Daily Headache

Chronic Daily Headache

I have had severe headaches for about two years now, I have always had headaches but they would come and go now this NEVER leaves. I have been to a
neurologist but have not gotten a cat scan or mri.

I have been to physical therapy and that did not help. I have a bad spot at the base of my head that hurts constantly as well. The neurologist gave me topamax which did not help either. I am to the end of any sanity at this point-help!

Answer:

Hi Angie,

You sound very frustrated! I think I would be too with a headache that has gone on as long as yours.

First of all..is the neurologist a headache specialist? If not consider seeing one. You really should have an MRI just to be on the safe side, although most of the time they are normal.

Daily headache sometimes has to be broken with a couple of infusions and the appropriate dose of daily medications. If spasming of the neck is involved that too has to be addressed with medication and PT not just one and then the other..all of it together is what beats down headaches.

If taking OTC meds for this headache, you should stop as they fuel headaches over time..especially episodic headaches, and turn them into daily headaches.

You are lucky though...one of the top headache centers in the US is in your area! The Michigan Head and Pain Institute in Ann Arbor is excellent. I would advise you consider going there and see either Dr. Saper or Dr. James Weintraub.

Good luck.

Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Chronic Daily Headaches Migraines

by Laurie
(Langley, BC Canada)

I have been suffering from headaches since childhood. I am 44 now and they are much worse.

Last year I went 15 days out of the year without a headache. Pills are not working anymore & no one can seem to find a cause or a cure for me. I have had a hysterectomy (I was 40) but still have my ovaries.

Although I have headaches daily the week before what would be my menstrual cycle my headaches are much worse. My question is would removing my ovaries help?? I think a lot of my headaches are hormonal although I've been tested several times for hormone levels and the Doctor always says they are fine.

I am at the end of my rope with this pain and am looking for any suggestions. Thank you!!

Answer

Hi Laurie,

Well first of all I definitely would not recommend that you have your ovaries removed. I have seen a case where a woman did this and the headaches actually worsened. There are no guarantees that doing this would improve your headaches, and you do need estrogen to help other parts of the body, such as maintaining bone health.

At this point I think you need to see a headache specialist or a pain management specialist. Here are Canadian pain clinics and there are some in your area.

Studies have shown that menstrual migraines do respond to higher doses of magnesium, 800 mg per day. This is what we recommend to our patients, and many of them had their headaches come under control just using magnesium. Here is where you can read about magnesium and migraines.

The daily headaches may have another cause, but none the less you need to be seen by a specialist.

Good luck!
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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