Smarter Decisions,
Better Care

UpToDate synthesizes the most recent medical information into evidence-based practical recommendations clinicians trust to make the right point-of-care decisions.

  • Rigorous editorial process: Evidence-based treatment recommendations
  • World-Renowned physician authors: over 5,100 physician authors and editors around the globe
  • Innovative technology: integrates into the workflow; access from EMRs

Choose from the list below to learn more about subscriptions for a:

Subscribers log in here

Overview of chronic daily headache


Chronic daily headache (CDH) is a descriptive term that encompasses several different specific headache diagnoses characterized by frequent headaches.

Primary chronic daily headache subtypes of long duration (ie, four hours or more) are chronic migraine, chronic tension-type headache, medication overuse headache, hemicrania continua, and new daily persistent headache.

Primary headache types of shorter duration that can be chronic and occur daily are chronic cluster headache, chronic paroxysmal hemicrania, hypnic headache, and primary stabbing headache.

This topic will provide an overview of the subtypes of primary CDH. These headache subtypes are discussed in greater detail individually in appropriate separate topic reviews.


Chronic daily headache (CDH) is not a specific headache type, but a syndrome that encompasses other primary and secondary headaches. The term "chronic" in CDH refers either to the frequency of headaches or to the duration of the disease, depending upon the specific headache type.


Subscribers log in here

To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information or to purchase a personal subscription, click below on the option that best describes you:
Literature review current through: Nov 2014. | This topic last updated: Dec 10, 2014.
The content on the UpToDate website is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions. The use of this website is governed by the UpToDate Terms of Use ©2014 UpToDate, Inc.