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Dec 1, 2011 · New Daily Persistent Headache in Chronic Pain

I was diagnosed with New Daily Persistent Headaches at Johns Hopkins headache clinic in Baltimore last August. I am hoping to find more information on these kinds of headaches. I have found very little actual research information on them, and some of the information I have found is inaccurate.

The first neuro I went to must not have been familiar with this type of headache, as I have all of the symtoms, but he never diagnosed me with NDPH. For those of you unfamiliar with this type of headache, let me tell you what I do know. First of all let me say that I got a headache the first week in June in 2010, and it has never gone away. It does not always hurt in the same place, or in the same way, or to the same extent. That makes it nearly impossible to describe to a doctor because it sounds crazy. I kept apologizing to my first neuro for not being helpful when he asked questions, and I gave him this bizaare set of answers. Finally being correctly diagnosed was huge to me. At least I knew what I had and that there were other people with this type of headache.

The headache pain goes from moderate to severe; I often have migranous headaches but migraine meds do not phase NDPH. NDHP are not migraines. It would be nice to have migraines where at least most people have some type of success with medication. I have easily tried 40 different medications. My doc at Johns Hopkins said that this is the most difficult type of headache to treat; less than half of all sufferers ever find any kind of medication that will ease the pain. For bad and really bad days I have to take oxycodone or apply a fentanyl patch. Not only are these substances highly addictive but they also cause rebound headaches which are far worse than the orginal one was. Most days (and nights) I just try to get through them. I don’t really have any options.
I was an English teacher. Last year I had to take 6 months off. I went back this year, but I only made it though the first quarter. I am on short-term disability now with no option to return to my job of 29 years.

I would love to see discussion of this type of headaches on the board! I also wanted to post this in case anyone who reads this may be suffereing from this type of headache. To be classified at NDPH, the headaches must have been continual for at least a 3 month period- no time at all headache free. They say that 80% of people with these headaches can tell you the exact time they began. Have you been give a lot of different medications and none of them phased your pain? It seems like a lot of doctors don’t know anything about this headache. Both my GP and my first neuro were clueless. They may need you to educate them.