Almost everyone gets a headache now and then. But, if you have 15 or more headaches a month for more than three months, you need to talk with your doctor. You might have a condition called chronic daily headache. Chronic daily headache describes a group of headaches that can develop many or most days of the month. Most of the time, people who have these chronic headaches have migraine or tension headaches. However, how you and your doctor will treat your chronic headaches will depend on the type of headache that you have. Rebound Headaches When you use headache medicine too often, your body gets used to it. When the medicine wears off, you may get a headache again. That's a rebound headache. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever more than 15 times a month can cause this type of chronic headache. One warning sign is waking up most mornings with a headache. To treat this type of headache, you need to taper off the pain medicine or stop taking it altogether. It takes about 2 to 10 days for the headaches to go away. Cutting back on caffeine, getting more restful sleep, reducing stress, and getting some exercise can also help. Tension Headaches Tension headaches are the most common type of chronic headache. They cause mild pain on both sides of your head. They may also cause tightness in the back of your neck. Stress, poor posture, or not getting enough sleep also can contribute. Stress management and counseling are options for treating chronic tension headaches. Relaxation techniques like deep-breathing exercises and mental imagery also may help relieve stress. Counseling may help you identify your tension headache triggers. Medicines for chronic tension headaches include over-the-counter pain relievers along with amitriptyline (Elavil). This antidepressant provides some relief from chronic tension headaches for about 65% of people. Migraine Headaches Migraine headaches are severe, pounding headaches. They usually last more than four hours. You may be more likely to have migraines if you are a woman and you have a family history of migraines. To treat chronic migraines and help prevent future episodes, doctors may prescribe a preventive medicine. You take it every day to reduce the number of migraine attacks. Relaxation training and stress reduction are important, too. Things that often trigger chronic migraines include poor sleep, too much caffeine, lack of exercise, and dehydration. Cluster Headaches Cluster headaches cause a severe stabbing pain behind the eye. They may also cause redness and tears in the eye. In some cases, cluster headaches can occur once a day or even more often. These headaches are most common in young men. Overall, they are much less common than tension or migraine headaches. Many of the same drugs used to prevent migraines are used for cluster headaches. Another treatment is oxygen therapy. Breathing bottled oxygen prescribed by your doctor may relieve pain in about 15 to 20 minutes. However, doctors often prescribe steroids and nerve injections to treat chronic cluster headaches. And, because drinking alcohol and smoking can trigger these headaches, you should avoid both if you have this type of chronic headache. The Bottom Line on Chronic Headaches If you have frequent headaches, you need to let your doctor know. Also tell your doctor if you need to take over-the-counter pain relievers more than two days every week. Having chronic headaches can disrupt your life. It also can lead to misuse of pain medicines, which can be dangerous. The first step to relief is to get the right diagnosis. You can work with your doctor to find an effective treatment.