Official reprint from UpToDate®
www.uptodate.com ©2017 UpToDate, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Overview of chronic daily headache

Ivan Garza, MD
Todd J Schwedt, MD, MSCI
Section Editor
Jerry W Swanson, MD, MHPE
Deputy Editor
John F Dashe, MD, PhD


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, hemicrania continua, and new daily persistent headache. Medication overuse headache, a secondary headache disorder, frequently complicates management of multiple primary headache disorders.

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 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.

To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:

Subscribers log in here

Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 26, 2016.
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 ©2017 UpToDate, Inc.