Hemicrania continua, or continuous headache, is a rare type of headache that doesn’t stop. The pain is felt on one side of the face or head. It varies in severity. Patients with hemicrania continua describe a dull ache or throb that is interrupted by periods of pain that is:
These attacks usually happen three to five times a day.
Some patients will have these headaches steadily for months or years. In others, the pain will go away for weeks or months. But then it returns for extended periods.
Doctors consider a diagnosis of hemicrania continua if the pain has been present, without switching sides or disappearing even briefly, for at least three months.
The cause of hemicrania continua headaches is unknown. They affect women more often than men.
Fortunately, this condition can be treated. Patients who are able to tolerate daily anti-inflammatory medications achieve near-complete to complete relief.