The causes of many chronic daily headaches aren't well understood. True (primary) chronic daily headaches don't have an identifiable underlying cause. Some possible factors may include:

  • You've developed a heightened response to pain signals.
  • The part of your brain that suppresses pain signals isn't working properly.

Other frequent headaches may be caused by various underlying diseases or conditions, including:

  • 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

Many people who have frequent headaches are actually experiencing a rebound effect from taking pain medication too often. If you're taking pain medications — even over-the-counter analgesics — more than three days a week (or nine days a month), you're at risk of developing rebound headaches.

Mar. 15, 2012

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