Constant Headache

by Chris
(fredericskburg, VA)

Headache All The Time

Headache All The Time

I have had a constant headache (24/7,never has gone away) for almost 4 years. I woke up one morning in Aug. 2006 with a headache which has never gone away. No over the counter medicine will work.

I have had my eyes checked several times, had sinus xrays, mri of brain, been to an allergist, ent, etc. No one can help me with my headache. As the years have gone on it went from a headache, to fatigue, to ear infections, to constant ear ringing, to waking up feeling unrefreshed, to being diagnosed with sleep apnea (CPAP machine does not help at all - feel unrefreshed when I wake up), to major fatigue, to depression.

This is ruining my life, marriage, friendships, etc. My headache is in the front of my head (forehead) along with headache in the back of my head where neck meets - sometimes my neck area is numb and tingly. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis in 2007, but have been on thyroid meds since than.

Nothing helps. Can you help me or give me any suggestions? I have been on all kinds of meds (neurotin, amitryptyline, etc.)..nothing helps. Thank you.

Chris K.


Hi Chris,

I am sorry you have had a headache for so long! You do not mention whether or not you have been to a neurologist..I am assuming you have been with this type of problem and the fact that you have been on neurontin and amitryptyline. Neurontin has little effect on headache but amitryptyline was a good choice. The response is DOSE specific, and you must be on it at least 90 days to have effect, so this might be worth another try.

It sounds as if someone tried to rule out medical causes of your headaches, the sleep apnea and thyroid. Both of these are causes of secondary headache.

I think the important thing for you is to consider seeing a headache specialist. Although a neurologist can treat headache, usually they are not specialists in the area. As of 2007, this is now a board certified specialty, indicating how complex headache can be.

I suspect you have several types of headache influencing what is going on. When we see a patient like you, the first thing we do is a couple of days of IV infusions to break the pain, then start all over with treatment. You can get this type of treatment at a true headache center. There is one in Virginia:

Dr. Stuart Stark
Dr. David Alway
Neuro & Headache Treatment Center
4660 Kenmore Ave
Alexandria, VA

One of the top headache centers is in Philidelphia and offers inpatient treatment:

Stephan Silberstein,MD
Jefferson Headache center
Jefferson Hospital
111 S. 11th St.
Phil, PA 19107

Having said this, there are things you can do first. Pay attention to lifestyle and how it affects your headache. Patients who do this really see an improvement in their profile.

Good luck!

Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C


Hi Kris,

Wow your symptoms sound exactly like my best friend's.. My best friend one day was getting ready for work and just got a horrible dull pain in between her eyes and forehead area.. This was back in April already.. She was always prone to migraines but she described this as SO much different.

It is now december and nothing has helped. She's had several mri's, CT scans, freezing of nerves, sinus tests, eye tests, spinal cord mris.. EVERYTHING COMES BACK CLEAR. We are dumbfounded and she is just in soo much pain.. She's had to stop working as well. She said the pain has moved to the back of her head as well but its still in that main forhead area between eyes and radiates across forehead.. It never goes away.

Sometimes its manageable (not really though- she just has a high threshold for pain) and other times its totally unmanageable and she has even thrown up from being in so much pain. she wears a pain medicine patch that nyu pain specialists have given her and they had to up the dosage recently because she was in that much pain..

Does this sound like you? From your description it does to me but im not entirely sure.. She is trying to get appts with mayo clinic and john hopkins but as you know that will take some time.. Please let me know if this sounds similar as i believe it does..




Hi Laurie,

The post from Chris was some time ago so I am not sure if he will answer. I would agree that the symptoms of your friend's headaches sound similar.

With a past history of migraine it sounds like status migrainosus.

Your friend should be seen by a headache specialist not a pain specialist. Unfortunately, many pain specialists approach the problem by giving opiod medications which in the long run can make the headaches worse.

Addressing headaches and neck pain means approaching the problem by treating everything at once.

You do not say where you are from, but there are many headache specialists in the US besides Mayo and Johns Hopkins. The two best ones (besides mine ahem!) are Jefferson Headache center in Philadelphia, PA and Michigan Head and Pain Institute. Your friend can find each of them online.

Good luck..
Mary Kay

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Constant Headache

by Alexa
(Orlando, Fl)

I got a headache on my right side of my head. Strong almost weakening. This went on for about 6 days when I decided to go to the hospital. I had a catscan. The doctor could not figure it out, asked me if I wanted to continue test or go home since it had been 6 hours I decided to go home.

The catscan came out fine but there was no real reason behind the headache. Dr said it could be a migraine, although I have never had history of headaches or migraines. This is a first for me. I went to the dentist to check my teeth, I needed a filling in one due to some discomfort. Thinking this would make the headache go away. However it did not.

I have taken tylenol, ibuprogfen, and migraine meds. Nothing makes the headache go away. This is on a daily basis. Some times it is a weak headache. Other times light makes it worse and kind of makes me weak. I got glasses about 10 months ago, I have an appt for the optometrist next week to see if vision is the problem... If you have any idea what It could be?? Id greatly appreciate it!



Hi Alexa,

You do not mention how long you have had this headache and I am not sure what you mean by migraine meds..if you got them from your doctor and they are not working I would return and talk about different treatments.

It does sound like a migraine which really can occur anytime in life for a variety of reasons, but the most common is stress.

You do not mention your age, but if old enough to be entering perimenopause (early 40's) that could also be an issue. Girls in their teens also have hormone fluctuations which could kick off a migraine.

What ever the reason, at this point I think you should see a neurologist to get it sorted out.

Good luck...
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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