The causes of many chronic daily headaches aren't well-understood. True (primary) chronic daily headaches don't have an identifiable underlying cause.
Conditions that may cause non-primary chronic daily headaches include:
- Inflammation or other problems with the blood vessels in and around the brain, including stroke
- Infections, such as meningitis
- Intracranial pressure that's either too high or too low
- Brain tumor
- Traumatic brain injury
Medication overuse headache
This type of headache usually develops in people who have an episodic headache disorder, usually migraine or tension-type, and take too much pain medication. If you're taking pain medications — even over-the-counter analgesics — more than two days a week (or nine days a month), you're at risk of developing rebound headaches.
March 10, 2015
- Garza I, et al. Overview of chronic daily headache. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 6, 2015.
- Yancey JR, et al. Chronic daily headache: Diagnosis and management. American Family Physician. 2014;89:642.
- Halker RB, et al. Chronic daily headache: An evidence-based and systematic approach to a challenging problem. Neurology. 2011;76:S37.
- Headache: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/headache/detail_headache.htm. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.
- Ahmed F, et al. Chronic daily headaches. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology. 2012;15:S40.
- Headaches and complementary health approaches. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/pain/headachefacts.htm. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.