This is the unfortunate reality for those suffering from New Daily Persistent Headache (NDPH) which is a primary headache disorder.
Primary headache disorder is caused by dysfunction or overactivity of pain-sensitive structures in the head, an example would be a sensitised brainstem. It is not attributed to other causes such as anatomical, infection or physiological abnormalities. Examples of primary headache disorders include chronic migraine, chronic tension-type headaches and medication overuse headaches. An example of a secondary headache would be cervicogenic headache or post-stroke headache.
The hallmark features of NDPH include:
New: sufferers often don’t have a history of headaches or if they have, it’s not progressive prior to the onset of NDPH. Sufferers often remember the exact date their symptoms started.
Daily: since the onset, the headache has occurred on a daily basis
Persistent: its been present continuously for 3 months
Headache: the pain associated with NDPH often resembles chronic migraine or chronic tension-type headache.
It’s important to have your symptoms evaluated by a doctor for an underlying cause. The nature of NDPH symptoms often mimics other primary headache disorders, making diagnosis difficult. NDPH is often distinguished from primary headache due to the sudden and memorable onset of symptoms in the absence of significant prior history.
About half the time NDPH starts in the context of an infectious illness or surgery, but often there is no clear trigger.
NDPH is treated like the headache it most resembles, chronic migraine or chronic tension-type headache. As with most of the primary headache disorders we treat at The Melbourne Headache and Migraine Group, our management is based on an evidence-supported approach to care known as the Watson Headache Approach.
The approach is a method of examining the movement of and managing musculoskeletal dysfunction of the top three spinal segments of the neck. It’s a non-manipulative cervical assessment and management approach that is recognised and taught internationally.
Our practitioners at The Melbourne Headache and Migraine Group are part of our Osteopathic team at Williamstown Health and Lifestyle.