Is there a difference between chronic daily migraine and chronic daily headaches? If so, what?
I am working with a therapist who is not familiar with migraines, much less chronic migraines and definitely not chronic daily migraines. I have provided him the three articles from this site recommended by Teri Robert. But I do not know how to explain chronic daily migraines because I know his focus will be on the literature that states it is essentially impossible to have daily migraines because a migraine does not last longer than 72 hours or if it does, you are experiencing something much more severe. Thanks, GL.
Most doctors follow the “gold standard” of the International Headache Society’s International Classification of Headache Disorders, Third Edition (ICHD-3), for diagnosing migraines and other headache disorders. This provides a uniformity in diagnostic criteria and helps eliminate confusion. Neither chronic daily headache nor chronic daily migraine are formal diagnoses under ICHD-3.
Chronic migraine is defined as migraine or headache 15 or more days per month, at least eight of which must be migraine. Patients with a diagnosis of chronic migraine should also have one or more additional diagnoses of the type of migraine they have — migraine without aura, migraine with aura, retinal migraine, etc.
Have you asked the doctor who treats you for migraine to send a report about your migraines to your therapist? Your doctors should be willing to send reports or consult with each other about your care.
You didn’t say which articles you took to your therapist, but these two should help with understanding chronic migraine:
Thank you for your question,
Dave Watson and Teri Robert
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© David Watson and Teri Robert, 2016.
Dr. David Watson is a UCNS certified migraine and headache specialist and the director of the West Virginia University Headache Center. Dr. Watson takes a special interest in migraines, cluster headaches, and tension-type headaches. He strives to stay up-to-date on current research and treatments and regularly attends continuing medical education conferences. “Dr. Dave” is also very active in the migraine community, taking part in and leading advocacy efforts to benefit the entire community. He is the founder and chairman of the board of Runnin’ for Research, a nonprofit organization that helps interested patients and doctors set up races in their areas to raise research funding for headache disorders. He’s also a regular participant in the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy’s “Headache on the Hill” event and is co-secretary of the American Headache and Migraine Association. You can follow Dr. Watson on Twitter.
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate in the area of migraine and other headache disorders, and has been writing for the HealthCentral migraine site since 2007. She is a co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association. She received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award for “ongoing patient education, support, and advocacy,” in 2004 and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society in 2013. You can find links to Teri’s work on her web site and blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Do you have questions about Migraine? Reader questions are answered by UCNS certified Migraine and headache specialist Dr. David Watson, and award-winning patient educator and advocate Teri Robert. Questions may be submitted via our submission form. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers in our Ask the Clinician column. For an overview of how we can help and questions we can and can’t answer, please see Seeking Migraine and Headache Diagnoses and Medical Advice.