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Chronic Daily Headache

About Chronic Daily Headache

What Is Chronic Daily Headache?

Chronic daily headache (CDH) is a type of headache disorder characterised by the presence of headaches occurring on a daily or near-daily basis. Unlike occasional headaches, CDH is a persistent and long-lasting condition that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. CDH can manifest in different forms, including chronic migraine, chronic tension-type headache, hemicrania continua, and medication overuse headache. It is often considered a primary headache disorder, meaning it is not caused by an underlying medical condition. However, often in our experience, there is an upper neck or cervicogenic component driving the pain.

 Often the unrelenting nature of this type of headache ‘wears down’ a person’s resolve leading to an inability to cope with normal life activities.

Chronic Daily Headache Diagnosis

How Do We Diagnose Chronic Daily Headache?

To diagnose chronic daily headache, healthcare professionals typically rely on a thorough medical history, physical examination, and assessment of headache characteristics. They may ask about the frequency, duration, and intensity of headaches, as well as any associated symptoms. A frequency of more than 15 headaches each a month classifies a CDH. On occasions brain and/or neck scans are appropriate to rule in or out a particular diagnosis. Sydney headache and Migraine Centre uses the Watson Headache® Approach to determine the presence of an upper neck issue that may be causing the headache.

Chronic Daily Headache Symptoms

Head pain

 Frequent or daily headache, occurring most days, often lasting for even the entire day.

Mild to severe pain, causing significant discomfort and impairment

Neck pain




Sensitivity to light and sound


Difficulty concentrating

Treating Chronic Daily Headache With The Watson Headache® Approach

Chronic Daily Headache Treatment

The treatment of chronic daily headaches typically involves a multidisciplinary approach tailored to the individual’s specific needs. Some common treatment strategies include medications, lifestyle modifications, posture correction, manual therapy using Watson Headache® Approach, diet changes.

The Watson Headache® Approach focuses on addressing the underlying mechanical dysfunctions in the upper neck that can be causing the referred pain to the head.

Skilled physiotherapists trained in the Watson Headache® Approach utilise specific manual techniques to assess and treat dysfunctions in the cervical spine causing cervicogenic headache.

Open communication with a healthcare provider is crucial for effective management of CDH. The chronic nature of the symptoms require persistence and patience to achieve the desired result.


For further information, read our blog on Understanding triggers and 5 reasons your neck is involved.

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